Lisa Calhoun

General Partner

Lisa’s experience in early-scale dynamics contributes to over a billion dollars (and counting) in exit value from startups. Lisa is known for pioneering platforms that fuel early-stage companies with capital, connections and critical insights, including the Valor Innovation Council that connects emerging startups to potential enterprise customers; the Startup Runway Foundation, the largest pitch event connecting underrepresented founders to first capital; and the Atlanta Startup Podcast, the voice of the region with 40% of the U.S. population. She is a Kauffman Fellow, a member of the global network of top venture capital investors. Before Valor, Lisa founded a digital marketing agency recognized as one of the “Top 10 Agencies for Tech Startups.” She supported hundreds of tech startups through their exits to public markets and acquisitions. Prior, Lisa worked in IT consulting, helping large organizations solve complex problems with code. Lisa serves on the boards of Physician360, SmartCommerce, Women Who Code, MyAgData, and the Woodruff Arts Center Women’s Giving Circle. She earned her BA/Baylor 1994 and MBA/University of Texas.

Bryanna Barnett

Valor Intern

A proud first-generation AfroCarribean American determined to promote equitable access for an opportunity. She's passionate about educating, engaging, and exposing others on how they can use innovation and entrepreneurship to solve problems. She's set out on a mission to serve as a leader in the socio-economic empowerment of underrepresented communities and developing countries. In May 2020, Bryanna graduated with Magna Cumme Laude Latin honors from Prairie View A&M University, where she received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance. Throughout her undergraduate degree, she pursued multiple professional opportunities within the tech industry--including an internship at Google, a Venture Capital Fellowship with HBCUvc, and 5-Week Study Abroad Startup Bootcamp in Tel Aviv, Israel. Starting in the Fall of 2020, she will be pursuing her Master of Science in Technology Magamenet at Columbia University.

Abraham Zewdie

Fall 2020 Student Associate

Abraham is a senior at Emory University's Goizueta School of Business as well as the Founder of AVM asset management, a company that utilizes different financial models to construct portfolios. He has always had a fascination with the equity markets as well as teaching financial literacy which led him to found AVM to provide underserved communities with an introduction to finance. While he has experience valuing equities, he is new to Venture Capital and very eager to learn as much as possible.

Robin Moriarty, Ph.D

Venture Partner

Robin Moriarty, Ph.D, SVP and COO at Equifax International is a best-selling business author, a Forbes Contributor and an adjunct professor at The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. ``I am a global business executive currently with Equifax and an active venture partner at Valor Ventures, one of the first women-led investment firms in the Southeast. I have lived on four continents and traveled to more than 60 countries. Over the course of my career, I have focused on aligning businesses with opportunities to create positive societal impact in North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. I regularly share my observations and advice on navigating complex work and life questions through speaking engagements for professionals and on my website, www.gutsy.world. And my book, “What Game Are You Playing?: A Framework for Redefining Success and Achieving What Matters Most” was published last year.``

Kathryn Petralia

Valor Advisor Board

Kathryn Petralia is co-founder and COO at Kabbage, the global fintech legend headquartered in Atlanta. She is a Board member at Valor portfolio firm Rented.com and at nonprofit Care.

Dean Miryam Alavi

Valor Advisor Board

As an expert in digital innovations and strategic business IT applications, Dr. Alavi, Dean of the Scheller College of Business at Georgia Tech, is a key advisor to ValorVC on issues regarding digital transformation and talent.

She has advised and taught executives on topics of digital strategies and transformations in organizations including KIA Motors, Lockheed Martin, Marriott, Sodexo, Southern Company, the American College of Physicians, and the World Bank.

In recognition of her professional achievements, Dr. Alavi received the prestigious Association of Information Systems Fellows Award, an award given by peers in recognition of the recipient as a role model and inspiration to colleagues and students within the discipline. She was also awarded the distinguished Marvin Bower Faculty Fellowship at Harvard Business School and recently received a Citation of Excellence Award from Emerald Publishing for her highly-cited paper based on novelty, interdisciplinary interest, and relevancy in today’s world. Dr. Alavi was selected as the 2017 Woman of the Year for mid-size organizations and educational institutions by the Women in Technology (WIT) in Georgia. This award celebrates women in their visionary efforts to transform the world of business and technology and recognizes Dr. Alavi’s accomplishments as mentor, role model, and facilitator of women and men pursuing careers in STEM fields.

Dr. Alavi served on the advisory board of the Center for Knowledge-based Enterprise at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada, and was twice appointed by the Governor of the State of Georgia to the Georgia Technology Authority Board. She is a member of the Atlanta Rotary and serves on the Board of Trustees of Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta, the Board of Advisors of Valor Ventures, and the International Advisory Board of the Politecnico di Milano School of Management in Italy.

Dr. Alavi holds a B.A. in mathematics and computer science from State University of New York at Buffalo, and both an M.S. in computer and information sciences and a Ph.D. in management information systems from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.

Robin Bienfait

General Partner

Former Chief Enterprise Innovation Officer at Samsung, Chief Information Officer / Chief Technology Officer / Chief Information Security Officer for BlackBerry, and Chief Compliance Officer at AT&T, Robin brings 20 years of direct technical due diligence to her role as Founding Partner at Valor. She leads Valor’s technical diligence process, chairs our Innovation Council, and coordinates portfolio alliances with major enterprise technology firms. She has 15 patents, many in use today. Robin has presented at the CIO Forum, Gartner and Forrester, and is sought for comment by Forbes, Fortune and The Wall Street Journal. She is the founder and owner of Atlanta Tech Park, one of the largest innovation centers on the East Coast. Robin serves on the boards of Mitsubishi Financial (MUFG) and Great West Life Co. She holds a masters degree in the management of information technology from Georgia Tech.

Austin Meacham

Valor Intern

Austin Meacham is a recent Master of Management graduate from Duke's Fuqua School of Business after graduating from Dartmouth College in 2019. During his educational experiences, Austin has been involved in sales, marketing, and operations for two venture-backed companies. Austin's professional interests lie in entrepreneurship, social impact investing, and solving the issue of inequality in the startup and venture spaces.

Claire Li

Fall 2020 Student Associate

Claire is a junior at Emory University and she is interested in finding a suitable integration between technology and finance. Passionate about learning about the newest technology trends and methods as well as focusing on the commercial part of it - I care about their business model, ways of innovation, any potential breakthroughs, etc. In addition, she started to become passionate about social justice and human rights after watching Brian Stevenson's TED talk in high school and joined Emory's feminist club to promote awareness across and beyond campus - ultimately, I believe, technology should be used to well-serve all communities.

Before working at Valor, I interned at a consulting firm working on a FinTech project as well as in private equities, one of them devoting to a tech-driven innovation in service companies. In addition, I've had the privilege to help plan for setup in venture capital this summer, which helps me to understand the industry more. I believe that investing in early-stage technology companies enables us to take a peek, or even accelerate, an entire paradigm shift of the future society.

Elizabeth Halkos

Venture Partner

COO at Purchasing Power, Elizabeth is a tech startup scale veteran. She brings tons of real-world experiencing scaling a software/fintech company outside of the Valley to her role as Venture Partner, where she often helps evaluate or source ValorVC pipeline opportunities and helps counsel portfolio firms through sales friction. Joining Purchasing Power in sales in 2006, Elizabeth led double-digit growth at one of the nation's most successful fintech firms, with oversight of sales, account management, client services, marketing and public relations. Halkos received the 2017 “Female Executive of the Year” Silver Award and is named among the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “Top 40 Business Stars Under 40” and The Committee of 200 members, created to advance women’s leadership in business.

Lynne Laube

Valor Advisor Board

Lynne Laube is the chief operating officer and co-founder of Cardlytics (NASDAQ:CDLX), a business recognized as one of the country’s fastest growing technology companies by Deloitte Fast 500 and Inc. 5000. Cardlytics was recently named the 5th Best Entrepreneurial Company by Entrepreneur Magazine.

In February 2018, Lynne took Cardlytics public on the Nasdaq, making Cardlytics the first tech IPO of the year. From 2008 through 2017, Lynne secured more than $200 million in capital from leading investors and scaled the company to become the dominant global leader in purchase history-based analytics. In 2016, Lynne was named one of the top 10 venture-backed female founders by Inc. Magazine and Entrepreneur 360. In 2012 and 2013 Lynne was a finalist for E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Lynne has a tremendous passion around helping women excel in the workplace and is a key advisor to Valor's leadership team as well as a Startup Runway mentor.

Diana Cantor

Valor Advisor Board

Diana Cantor brings unmatched experience in finance and investing to her work on Valor's Advisor Board. Formerly with Goldman Sachs, she is currently Vice Chair and Trustee of the Virginia Retirement System. She is the Founding Executive Director of the Virginia 529 College Savings Plan. Diana creates custom investment vehicles as Partner, Alternative Investment Management (AIM). Her roles as a public company director include Domino’s Pizza, Universal Corporation, and VICI Properties. She is Treasurer of the finance leadership group, 100 Women in Finance.

Gary Peat

General Partner

Gary has 25 years experience investing in cloud-based software in the Southeast with 19 years as a general partner and seed-stage VC investor. Starting with Council Capital’s debut fund in 2000, Gary was a General Partner for 3 funds at Council Capital focused on seed and early-stage cloud software serving health care. Gary’s referenceable track record includes leading 38 investments at the seed stage in the Southeast, achieving impressive returns. Prior to Council Capital, Gary was Principal at Stonehenge Growth Equity for four years. There he made his first seed stage investment, SecureTax.com, which is Intuit’s Web Turbotax today. Gary’s experience as a seed stage & early stage investor began in 2000. Gary’s track record includes >2 dozen seed & early stage investments in Valor’s target region, including 14 in Atlanta. In 2014, Gary left Council Capital to focus active seed-stage investing personally, and joined Valor first as an investor and operating partner before joining the general partnership.

Lafayette Julius

Valor Intern

After attending Morehouse college, Lafayette started his career as a marketing assistant for Tampa Bay Lightning and help manage partnerships for the club. In 2018, he founded sports tech company Evolve Sports which is currently backed by the Adidas family and international investors. Featured in Forbes, sports techie and uproxx for developing one of top sports apps. Lived in Berlin, Germany and Melbourne, Australia which he is managing partner for professional basketball club Keysborough Cougars. His goal is to empower founders to focus on turning customers to users and how the startups strategize product demand. His experience has positioned him to help leverage revenue streams for companies and attract investors to grow long term vision.

Sarah O'Brien

Founding Partner

Sarah O'Brien runs partnership development and strategic alliances at ValorVC. Sarah learned corporate acquisition at GE, where she excelled in leadership roles for over a decade in M&A, specializing in acquiring firms under $500 million. Sarah leverages deep financial experience and a global network to support Valor across financial operations, financial diligence, and compliance oversight. Before joining Valor, she served as CFO of a $500 million-dollar division of $2.5 billion Carestream Health, a division of Kodak. O’Brien is the founder of The Executive Women of Goizueta and served on the Goizueta Alumni Board for 9 years. She is a graduate of the Leadership Atlanta Class of 2009. Sarah earned her BSBA at the University of Florida in finance and went on to earn an MBA at Emory University Goizueta School of Business.

Tiffany McKenzie

Valor Counsel; Startup Runway Board

Tiffany is an attorney and entrepreneur, giving her unique insight in her role as Valor's counsel. She is co-founder of The Vibe Ride cycling franchise and launched Perspire Sauna Studio. Tiffany a Partner at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner.

David Cummings

Valor Advisor Board

One of the most visionary serial entrepreneurs and investors on the East Coast and an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year winner, David Cummings bootstrapped Pardot into one of the largest SaaS acquisitions ever. David subsequently founded the Atlanta Tech Village, the largest technology entrepreneur center in the Southeast. ATV is hailed as a model for building an urban startup ecosystem. David is a strong early-stage SaaS investor with a significant portfolio and founder of Atlanta Ventures. As a partner at Valor, David generously shares his substantial experience helping founders scale.

Becky Blalock

Valor Advisor Board

Former Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Southern Company, Blalock spent nearly a decade directing IT strategy and operations for the 3rd largest utility company in the world. As an active investor and board member, Becky brings unusual capacity to helping scaling software companies with quality governance as well as a worldclass technical network. Under her leadership, Southern Company was recognized as one of the 100 Most Innovative Companies by CIO Magazine and one of the 100 Best Places to Work in IT. Blalock has testified before the DOE and FCC on behalf of the utility industry regarding matters related to cyber security. She serves on the board of the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta, is a Trustee of the Woodruff Arts Foundation and the Carter Center. She is also an advisor to the Mercer Business School.

Rodney Morris

Associate

Rodney graduated with cum laude honors from Morehouse College where he concentrated in Finance. Prior to graduation, Rodney interned at the Federal Reserve, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, and Crews Enterprises/Airport Retail Management. After graduating from Morehouse College, he has crafted a unique skillset by acquiring several positions in different industries including: management consulting, private equity, big law, entrepreneurship, and media/entertainment. As the Director of Business Development for The Standard Music Group, he used his creative thinking ability to forge a strategic partnership between emerging music talent Daetrius and early stage startup LookLive. At Valor, he focuses on due diligence, portfolio management, and analysis.

Jean-Luc VanHulst

Venture Partner

Jean-Luc is a serial entrepreneur. After scaling to several locations including an offshore presence in China, he sold his first company, software development firm Finalist, to investors in 2010. His experiences as an entrepreneur in a scaling tech company helps him source interesting solutions and advise founders. He is currently president at Write2Market, a tech public relations firm, and leads the tech practice. He has software development clients from San Francisco to New York. Jean-Luc's hobbies include Python and marathons.

Tiffany Brackens

Executive Assistant

Tiffany's high-level organizational and administrative experience stretches the project management spectrum: Customer relationship management (CRM); market research; event coordination; webinar setups; grant proposal design; fundraising; and video editing, to name but a few. Enthusiastic, committed, flexible, and efficient, Tiffany's learning curves are short, and she is always excited to branch out for new challenges. Tiffany's range of interests extends to her work – bring on any project, and Tiffany is readily hands-on in both knowledge and execution. Detail-oriented, Tiffany welcomes all levels of a task, in any type of task. Enhanced by her BS in Computer Science, Tiffany brings extensive technological savvy and people-skilled broad-mindedness to every professional role. She has excelled in a wide array of functions – from sales, billing, meeting planning, scheduling, training and documenting and maintaining office processes. Tiffany is a dynamic, resourceful, and energetic individual who is comfortable with being the go-to person for anything related to the seamless running of an office. There is never a task too small or too big for her.

Alaina Percival

Venture Partner

Alaina Percival is a venture partner at Valor helping focus our pipeline of high-quality female and minority founders. As founder and executive director of Women Who Code (WWCode), an international nonprofit dedicated to inspiring women to excel in technology careers, she is uniquely positioned to canvas a broad pipeline. WWCode is building a world where women are represented as technical leaders, executives, founders, VCs, board members and software engineers. Percival's organization has executed more than 8,000 free events around the world, garnered a membership exceeding 167,000, and has a presence in 20 countries. Learn more at womenwhocode.com.

Michael Mansfield

Valor Advisor Board

Michael F. Mansfield, Sr. is Chairman/CEO of Mansfield Energy Corp. As a second generation owner, Michael has grown Mansfield from a regional 25 employee company into an $8B provider of diversified energy products and services. Today Mansfield employs 550 team members and ranks 46th on Forbes’ list of America's largest privately owned companies. Michael is the 2010 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Southeast Manufacturing/Consumer Products Award winner. He remains active in the EY program and serves as a National judge. Michael mentors Valor through the Kauffman Fellows program and is a source of inspiration and practical advice to Valor entrepreneurs.

Michael Patrick

Valor Advisor Board

Michael brings a unique perspective to Valor with previous roles spanning start-ups to large enterprises. Michael currently serves as Principal Lead for Innovation & New Ventures at Chick-fil-A, Inc. In this role, he is responsible for exploring future trends, identifying new consumer needs and building solutions to serve the customer of the future. Michael is the former founder of Thanks Geoffrey, a technology enabled service company. In his prior roles, Michael was Vice President of Marketing for Carroll Organization, a real estate private equity firm with $5.0 billion in assets under management. He was responsible for all facets of raising capital: pipeline development, fund marketing and investor relations. Additionally, Michael worked for Goldman Sachs, Investment Management Division. His advisory team managed over $700 million of client assets and focused on institutions, endowments, family offices, and high net worth pools of capital.

Education & Service

Michael received his MBA from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a concentration in finance and earned a BBA in marketing from The University of Georgia (UGA), where he also played basketball for the Bulldogs. Michael is a graduate and former trustee of Leadership Georgia. He actively serves on the board of directors for the REACH Foundation and the Advisory Board for UGA’s Innovation District, an integrated set of facilities for university startups and research commercialization.