Building a company is hard. With every success and burst of growth, comes a new set of challenges that founders may not have experienced — or even thought about — before.

To help founders navigate these developments and accelerate their growth, Sapphire is proud to announce the Sapphire Fellows program. Sapphire Fellows matches experienced business and tech leaders with Sapphire portfolio companies looking for perspective and ongoing mentorship as they grow.

In addition to access to a skilled mentor, Fellows can help portfolio companies by:

  • Making introductions between founders and potential investors, customers or partners
  • Assisting in fundraising or recruiting efforts
  • Participating in strategic meetings to support the portfolio company
  • The value exchange from the Fellow program is two-way, with participating companies benefiting from an experienced, guiding hand, and Fellows getting exposure to the next generation of innovation.

“Tomorrow’s most successful companies are combining the wisdom of the past with the digital possibilities of the future,” says Yvonne Wassenaar, former CEO of Airware and Sapphire Fellow.

“The Sapphire Fellows program accelerates this powerful exchange and it is an honor to be a member; working with and learning from such a diverse and powerful set of leaders.”

The first cohort of Sapphire Fellows who will be matched with portfolio companies include:

  • John Baird, Executive coach to CEOs and Founders, Velocity.
  • Kiran Bondalapati, Infra, Uber; Former Co-Founder, CTO and VP Engineering, ZeroStack.
  • Richard Campione, Former Senior Executive and GM at Splunk, SAP, Siebel, ServiceSource. Board Director: Winshuttle, Biome Analytics, Mavenlink, and Innovyze.
  • Cheryl Chavez, Chief Product Officer, Engagio; Former Group Vice President, Product Management and UX, Marketo.
  • Ray Elias, Chief Marketing Officer, Hotel Tonight. Former Chief Marketing Officer, NatureBox and StubHub.
  • Justin Fitzhugh, Vice President, Technical Operations, Instart; Former CIO and VP of TechOps, Jive Software; Former VP, Engineering Operations, Mozilla Corporation; Advisor: Portworx and The Fabric.
  • Arnnon Geshuri, Chief People Officer, Livongo; Former VP of Human Resources, Tesla Motors; Former Senior Director, Recruiting and HR, Google, Inc.
  • Vijaya Kaza, Chief Development Officer, Lookout; Former Senior Vice President, Cloud Products and Engineering, FireEye, Inc.; Former Engineering Executive, Security Business Group, Cisco.
  • Leslie Kurkjian, Vice President Talent, MuleSoft; Former Head of Dropbox Rotation Program, Global Talent Development, Dropbox; Former Program Manager, Emerging Businesses, Google.
  • Doug Knopper, Former Co-founder / Co-CEO FreeWheel Media; Former CEO, BitPass, Inc; Former SVP/General Manager, DoubleClick.
  • Ursula Llabres, Head of Customer Growth, Workplace by Facebook, North America, Facebook. Former VP of Customer Success, InsideSales.com; Former Senior Manager, Customer Success, Box.
  • Dan Maloney, CEO of ZEPL; Former CEO of Perspica; Former Vice President, Sales and Marketing, AccelOps.
  • Tatyana Mamut, Founder, Strategic Advisor, TMamut Inc and CultureRisk.com; Former GM and Director of Product Management, Design and Engineering at AWS; Former Vice President / Head of Product Experience & Design, IoT Cloud, Salesforce; Former Founder & Senior Designer, Organization Design, IDEO.
  • Chris McClain, Principal, Growth Accelerators; Former SVP, Global Sales, DocuSign; Former EVP and GM, Americas Strategic Industries, SAP.
  • Avanish Sahai, Global VP, ISV and Technology Alliances, ServiceNow; Board Director, HubSpot; Former SVP Channels and Alliances, InsideSales.com.
  • Eric Schrader, Chief Customer Officer, BetterWorks; Former Global VP, Professional Services at Coupa.
  • Eyal Shavit, VP, Global Head of Technology, Samsung NEXT; Former Chief Technology Officer, Sports Illustrated Play (Acquired by NBC), Former Chief Product Officer, Innovation, Deluxe Entertainment Services Group.
  • Adam Spiegel, Former Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, Glassdoor and RPX Corporation; Former Chief Financial Officer, Vectrant Technologies Inc.
  • Yvonne Wassenaar, Former CEO of Airware; CIO and SVP of Operations New Relic; CXO Vice President VMware; Strategy Partner Accenture. Board Member of Forrester and Harvey Mudd College; Former Board Member, Mulesoft, Bitium and the Athena Alliance.
  • Courtnee Westendorf, Former CMO and marketing executive at The Oakland Raiders, Intel, Disney, and Apple.