Catapult Ventures is a venture capital firm based in Leicester, United Kingdom. The firm was founded in 1999 and invests in the healthcare, medical devices, environment, luxury consumer brands, manufacturing and software sectors.
Stefan Walter is co-founder and managing partner at Cavalry Ventures. He leads the internal operations and supports founders in areas such as strategy and fundraising. Stefan holds university degrees in finance, tax law and business administration. Prior to Cavalry he co-founded Montredo, an online marketplace with focus on new luxury watches, before moving to the other side of the table and joining Rheingau Founders, a Berlin-based company builder and early-stage investor. He grew up in the countryside close to Osnabruck, loves VfL Bochum, basketball and tennis, and is actively involved in the Berlin start-up scene, where he serves as mentor at Techstars and METRO Accelerator.
A Managing Partner at GGV Capital, Jeff joined the firm in 2008 after spending 13 years as an entrepreneur and operating executive in the US and Asia. Prior to joining GGV, Jeff founded two venture-backed companies, one a success and one a “huge failure” in his own words – “I learned a lot.” His background as an entrepreneur gives him a unique perspective on the challenges of starting and running a venture-backed company, and he works closely with the GGV Talent team on Founders + Leaders. Jeff focuses on the Software and Internet sectors, and currently sits on the boards of or is a board observer at BigCommerce, one of the top ecommerce software platforms, Boxed, a rising star in the ecommerce space, Brightwheel, the leading SaaS provider for the early education vertical, Gladly, a next generation SaaS platform for customer care, Percolate, a leading marketing SaaS platform for global brands,PlushCare, a mobile platform for consumer healthcare, Reebonz, Southeast Asia’s leader in luxury ecommerce, Slice, a market network for the pizza industry, and Tile, the platform for location. Jeff also led GGV’s investments in Appirio (acquired in 2016 by Wipro), BlueKai (acquired in 2014 by Oracle), Buddy Media (acquired in 2012 by Salesforce), Citrus Lane (acquired in 2014 by Care.com), Evolv (acquired in 2014 by Cornerstone OnDemand), Flipboard, HotelTonight, ShiftGig, Voicera and Zylo, and has been actively involved in GGV’s investments in Domo, OpenDoor, Square and Wish. Prior to joining GGV, Jeff founded two software companies: R4, a supply chain SaaS business acquired by VeriSign (NASDAQ: VRSN), and QuantumShift, a telecom software business backed by Texas Pacific Group (TPG). Earlier in his career, Jeff worked in Asia and Latin America with PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Jeff graduated from Dartmouth College, where he was a four-year letterman on the basketball team and is on the Advisory Board for the Dartmouth Entrepreneur Network (DEN). Jeff is a frequent guest on CNBC and often writes on topics like startup management and leadership, venture-backed IPOs and shifts in tech trends across the US and China. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jrichlive or check out his LinkedIn profile for more information.
Erik Blachford serves as Venture Partner at TCV since March 2011. He also serves on the Board of Zillow May 2005 and Member of Supervisory Board at TourRadar. He served as the Executive Chairman at Couchsurfing International, Inc., a hospitality exchange and social networking company, from August 2014 until August 2015, and Executive Chairman of TerraPass, Inc., a carbon offset company, from September 2009 to June 2014. Blachford served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Butterfield & Robinson Travel, a luxury tour operator, from September 2009 until January 2011 and as Chief Executive Officer of TerraPass, Inc. from January 2005 to April 2007. From January 2005 to April 2007, Blachford was an active independent investor in a variety of early stage private companies. From March 2003 to December 2004, Blachford served as Chief Executive Officer of Expedia, Inc. and Chief Executive Officer of IAC Travel, the travel division of IAC/InterActiveCorp, a holding company of Internet businesses. From January 2003 to December 2004, Blachford served as President of Expedia North America and Expedia Senior Vice President of Marketing & Programming. Blachford previously served on the boards of directors of Expedia, Inc. from April 2003 to September 2003, and Points International Ltd., a reward-program management portal, from June 2003 to December 2004. Blachford currently serves as a member of the boards of directors of several privately held companies. Blachford also serves on the U.S. National Council of the World Wildlife Fund. Blachford holds a B.A. in English and a certificate in theater from Princeton University, and an M.B.A. from Columbia University's Graduate School of Business.
Ezra Galston is the Founder and serves as Managing Partner at Starting Line. He serves as Investment Committee Member at Bold Coast Capital. Galston is an Angel Investor of Ezra Galston. He served as Principal at Chicago Ventures. He focuses on all facets of the firm's consumer facing and marketing tech investments and is actively involved with Blitsy, BloomNation, Kapow Events, Luxury Garage Sale, Shiftgig, SpotHero, and Zipments. Ezra's thoughts on startups, gaming, e-commerce and bitcoin have been published in the Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, VentureBeat and Re/code. Ezra joined Chicago Ventures in March, 2012 and prior was a Young Entrepreneur at Foundation Capital. Before business school, Ezra served as the Director of Marketing for CardRunners Gaming - the parent company of CardRunners, Hold'em Manager and DraftDay - and before then earned a living as a professional poker player. He launched his first startup at age 13 and served as Director of Interactive Marketing at Buzz Marketing Group from 2003-2005 working closely with Midas Records, Sony Records and MTV. Ezra is a proud husband and father to a two year old boy. His varied interests have led him to launch a record label and produce a festival screened short film. He is a Kauffman Fellow, Class 18 and holds an MBA from Chicago Booth and a BA from New York University.