Investment Team

Founding Partner

Kate Brodock

Founding Partner

Allyson Kapin

VC-in-Residence

Corey Ponder

VC-in-Residence

Krystal Beachum

VC-in-Residence

Jory Des Jardin

Chief Legal Counsel

Lindsay Karas Stencel

Founding Partner

Kate Brodock

:: Founding Partner of W FUND
:: CEO of Women 2.0
:: EIR for LaunchNY
:: Mentor for Techstars

Kate is Founding Partner of W Fund and CEO of Women 2.0, a global for-profit, for-good that focuses on gender, diversity and inclusion in the tech industry.

She’s lived in the tech startup world for over 15 years, and has played an active leadership role in the women in tech ecosystem for over a decade, having led a global, 60+ chapter organization focused on women in technology and entrepreneurship as its President for several years.

She’s also an EIR at LaunchNY, and a long-time mentor for Techstars. She was recently CMO of untapt, an AI-driven tech talent marketplace based in NYC and has held the role of Adjunct Professor in PR and Marketing at at Syracuse University.

Driving diversity, equity and inclusion action and awareness has been absolutely central to her work, and she additionally enjoys putting her experience in the tech industry to work advising and mentoring startups.

Kate has spoken at and been featured in 100s of places, including SXSW, Collision Conference, Fast Company, Fifteen Seconds Festival, UNLEASH, Microsoft, IBM, MSNBC, Techcrunch, IBT, the BBC and Al Jazeera.

She holds BAs in Political Science and African American History from the University of Rochester, an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Marketing from Goizueta Business School at Emory University and an MA in International Relations from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.

When she’s not doing all *that*, she’s a very non-professional (but adventurous!) athlete, an equally as non-professional musician, can be found outdoors in any weather — skiing, biking, hiking, sailing — loves a good meal with bubbly, craft beer and good friends, hilariousness and life. She tries hard to read when she can, non-fiction only. Her husband is a startup-web-developer-turned-beer-guy and they live on a hops farm in Upstate New York with their two boys. She can be found on Twitter at @just_kate.

Founding Partner

Allyson Kapin

:: Founding Partner of W
:: Founder & CEO of Women Who Tech
:: Indie VC Scout

Allyson is Founding Partner at W, and Founder of Women Who Tech. She’s been named one of the “Most Influential Women in Tech” by Fast Company, a “Tech Titan” by the Washingtonian, and “one of the top 30 women entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter” by Forbes for her leadership roles in technology and social media. Allyson also a VC scout for Indie VC, and the Co-Founder of Rad Campaign, and has helped the largest and smallest nonprofits, foundations, and philanthropists build websites, apps, and national campaigns to power fundraising and grassroots movements.

Her campaigns have been recognized with several prestigious web awards and featured on several top media networks ranging from CNN to NPR to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. She is passionate about the intersection of social change with online technologies and social communities, a topic she deeply explores in her nonprofit bestselling book Social Change Anytime Everywhere, co-authored by Amy Sample Ward of NTEN. The book is an action-oriented guide that shows nonprofits how to build and mobilize their communities through multifaceted campaigns, and by integrating online channels with offline tactics.

As the Founder of Women Who Tech, she launched one of the largest global programs, the Women Startup Challenge, in partnership with Craig Newmark of craigslist and Craig Newmark Philanthropies to disrupt up a culture and economy that has made it exceedingly difficult for women entrepreneurs to raise capital. She’s on a mission to close the funding gap. 

Allyson sits on the Board of Directors for the Women League of Voters. She’s also been on the Advisory Board for the Anita Borg Institute and NTEN’s Nonprofit Technology Conference Planning Committee. She’s a jury member for the Webby Awards and speaks at conferences across the U.S. ranging from SXSW to Personal Democracy Forum, NTEN, and BBCON. Allyson is a contributor to Fast Company and Forbes focusing on trends in technology. 

VC-in-Residence

Corey Ponder

:: VC-IN-RESIDENCE AT W FUND
:: FOUNDER OF EMPACT STRATEGIES
:: POLICY LEAD AT GOOGLE
:: FORMER POLICY FACEBOOK AND CIA

Corey Ponder is an empathy practitioner and educator who works with innovative companies and individuals to build safe spaces for inclusive and diverse experiences.

Corey believes in the power of human connection and how that drives real impact.  Over his 10 years of professional experience as a policy analyst in the public sector and a program manager and policy professional in the private sector, Corey knows that an emphasis on emotional intelligence—self-awareness, empathy, and interpersonal skills—leads to a more committed, productive, and engaged workforce creating a real impact in the workplace and spaces they occupy.

Corey has scaled diversity programs across several companies, including with CIA and Facebook, and has developed and facilitated over 50 workshops on allyship, bias, privilege, and building empathy across the tech industry.  He has also spoken on allyship for several organizations, including Chan Zuckerberg initiative, Fitbit, MomWarrior, and Diversability.  He continues to publish on these topics as well, most recently being featured in Fortune Magazine’s raceAhead newsletter.

Corey holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley and a Bachelor’s in Political Science from Vanderbilt University.

VC-in-Residence

Krystal Beachum

:: VC-in-residence at W Fund
:: Founder of Student-Athletes Unite

Krystal Beachum is an author, speaker, and Entrepreneur. Krystal has been able to work for some of the notable brands and organizations in sports like the NFLPA, LPGA, and the Women’s Final Four. She became a published author of “For The Other 98%,” the Ultimate Guide for Student-Athletes to Go Pro in Entrepreneurship in 2017.

As the Founder of Student-Athletes Unite, Krystal helps student-athletes create business and career opportunities. She teaches an online accelerator that teaches student-athletes how to get paid, stay eligible, and explore entrepreneurship as a career. Krystal has developed a program that now supports over 5,000 student-athletes regarding career paths, resumes, and applying for internships. The NCAA has featured the work she does with student-athlete entrepreneurship. She thoroughly believes that entrepreneurship can help athletes achieve more.

She presents at public conferences and colleges such as the University of Texas at Austin, Washington State University, Hampton University, and Henderson State University. 

Krystal currently sits on the Board of Directors for Higher Purpose Co. Krystal holds a Masters Degree in Sport Management from the University of Arkansas and a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Henderson State University. 

In her free time, she’s traveling the world, reading, journaling, and experimenting with new recipes, goes back to Texas to spend time with her grandparents, and helps her parents tend to their cattle.

VC-in-Residence

Jory Des Jardin

:: VC-in-Residence at the W Fund
:: Co-Founder & President of BlogHer
:: Global Marketing for AWS Startups
:: Co-Founder of Virago

An entrepreneur and operator for more than 20 years, Jory Des Jardins co-founded BlogHer, a category-defining women’s digital media company that was acquired by SheKnows Media in 2014. She spent 10 years on the founding team, scaling the digital media, custom campaign, and event revenue lines of business. As President of BlogHer, she led top relationships with global consumer brands and digital/media agency leadership. At acquisition, BlogHer amassed 100 million monthly readers across multiple social platforms. Most recently she led Global Marketing for AWS Startups group, serving startups from prototype to IPO stages.

Jory is a tireless crusader for startup entrepreneurs and business leaders, sharing her personal scale story, contacts, and insights learned from years of growth hacking, program development, and digital community building. She advises numerous early to later-stage digital startups. In 2016 she co-founded Virago, a strategic advisory for female founders and producer of The Scale Collective, an event for female founders, investors, advisors and partners. She has advised dozens of companies, from consumer marketplaces to emerging tech plays in Blockchain, AI, and VR/AR/XR. 

In her role as VC-in-Residence for the W Fund, Jory will also advise portfolio companies on fundraising, go-to-market, and growth strategy., Jory will advise portfolio companies on fundraising, go-to-market, and growth strategy.

Chief Legal Counsel

Lindsay Karas Stencel

:: CHIEF LEGAL COUNSEL & CO-FOUNDER AT W FUND
:: PARTNER AT THOMPSON HINES

Lindsay is a Partner of The W Fund. She is a seasoned dealmaker and true venture fund operator, having managed six venture funds during the course of her career. In negotiating and structuring over 1000+ deals in her VC tenure, she now works to ensure that all W Fund deals are tracking to market standards to put the W Fund in the best possible position to have influence over the portfolio companies’ progress and to permit strong participation in future investment rounds.

As a licensed attorney in multiple states, Lindsay began her venture career on the pure deal side working in big law in in New York. After she obtained her MBA from THE Ohio State University, she shifted to a true venture role in 2008 when she joined NCT Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm based out of Columbus, OH. There she worked her way up the ranks from associate and in-house counsel, to become one of the managing partners and chief legal counsel, making her one of the first female venture capital partners in the State of Ohio. There she has worked with the firm to structure 100s of transactions and proudly assisted the firm in being the top performing venture firm in the Midwest for its vintage years (2008 and 2013, respectively), according to PitchBook. 

Then, in 2016, Lindsay, who is born and raised in Buffalo NY, became engaged with Launch New York, Inc., a Buffalo-based 501(c)(3) venture development organization that works to provide mentorship and funding to seed stage businesses, industry agnostic, in the 27 westernmost counties of the State of New York. During Lindsay’s tenure with Launch NY, the firm has become the most active seed fund in the State of New York (and one of the most active in the nation), with over 60 transactions in less than two and a half years, resulting in Lindsay being awarded the Early Stage Dealmaker of the Year by the Upstate Capital Association of New York for 2018. 

Lastly, Lindsay is an Adjunct Professor at THE Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, teaching 2L and 3L students about venture capital and venture deal structuring. Lindsay also is an active speaker nationally, advocating for diversity and inclusion of women and minorities in finance, as well as instructing licensed attorneys and business people across the country on the establishment of venture firms and venture deal structuring.

In her limited spare time, Lindsay enjoys reading, traveling, spending time with her husband and slew of rescue dogs, and doing CrossFit at the gym she co-founded and owns with her husband, CrossFit Westerville.

Advisors

Invest Today

If you believe, as we do, that there’s an incredible opportunity in investing in a new class of diverse founders who are creating the future of tech, we’d love to talk with you about becoming an LP.