Building a Winning Startup Team

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Where Northeastern innovators learn from experts about protecting intellectual property, launching startups, and commercializing technologies. Experts learning from experts: InnoEd.

Building a Winning Startup Team

Global Entrepreneurship Week at Northeastern

Identifying, Recruiting, and Empowering the Right People for Early-Stage Ventures

“It’s all about the team.” The common refrain heard when talking startups …. but … How? Who? When?   

During this session, learn best practices from established experts about how to identify, recruit, and empower the right people for your early-stage venture while avoiding critical missteps. 

Event Details

Wednesday, November 10, 2021
Microsoft Teams
12:00 – 1:00 EST


Sriram Gollapalli |  Managing Director, TBD Angels

Sriram Gollapalli is one of two managing directors at TBD Angels, a Boston-based member-run angel group composed of an experienced set of founders, company leaders, and senior executives with a wide range of functional and industry experience. Started in early 2020, TBD Angels has since funded over 40 companies focusing on the pre-seed stage with an average check size of about $100k. 

Professionally, Sriram is the Associate Vice President of the Enterprise Subscription / SaaS Platform for Agilent Technologies since his company’s acquisition in 2016 (iLab Solutions). In 2006, he co-founded iLab, a SaaS company serving academic and cancer research institutions. Sriram was responsible for designing the product, directing the engineering team, and strategically growing the business. 

Prior to that, Sriram was a Consultant with Deloitte Consulting. At Deloitte, he focused on developing and executing IT cost reduction and process improvement strategies for Fortune 250 clients as well as post-merger IT management support for over $2 billion in annual spending at one of the Federal Government departments.  

Sriram received a BS in Computer Science and a Master’s in Information Systems from Carnegie Mellon University. He served as a member of the School of Computer Science Alumni Advisory Board for Carnegie Mellon, was a regular guest lecturer at Columbia Business School on SaaS pricing strategies, and has recently been serving as a mentor for Harvard Business School entrepreneurship classes and a regular judge for pitch competitions at the HBS Rock Center and MIT Sloan.

Jake Kramer | Managing Partner, FedTech

Jake Kramer is managing partner at FedTech, a venture firm at the intersection of entrepreneurship, breakthrough technologies, and mission driven organizations. Since 2015, FedTech has been dedicated to providing entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and government game-changers a viable path to transition breakthrough technologies to real world impact. Its commitment to unlock the benefits of technology for all is possible with its deep relationships and collaboration that spans across the DoD, NASA, DoE, NIST, VA, federal labs, research institutions, universities and corporations. Through its startup studios, accelerators, internal innovation and corporate venture programs, it works with individuals, companies, universities and government agencies to stay at the bleeding edge of innovation.

Concurrently, Jake serves as a Venture Partner with NextGen Venture Partners, a network driven venture capital firm in Washington, D.C. Before this role, Jake was a Vice President at Goldman Sachs in New York City. Jake began his career as a Captain in the US Army, earning the Bronze Star Medal for his actions leading a unit in the Middle East during a 12-month deployment.

Jake received his MBA in Entrepreneurial Management from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and his BBA in Computer Information Systems from Hofstra University.


Katie Hemphill | Director of Technology Ventures and Talent Networks, CRI

As Director of Technology Ventures and Talent Network, Katie leads the development of a pipeline that encourages the discovery, formation, launch and growth of new ventures. In addition to managing the various venture programs at CRI, she continues to cultivate a team of executive talent who mentors and supports spinouts as they launch and scale.

Katie plays a pivotal role in enhancing Northeastern’s thriving entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem by partnering with existing internal and external stakeholders. 

Prior to joining CRI, Katie served as Associate Director of the McCarthy(s) Venture Mentoring Network (VMN) at Northeastern’s Center for Entrepreneurship Education at D’Amore-McKim School of Business. The VMN is a global network of volunteer mentors who give time and talent to early-stage startups based on timely business challenges. The program grew in community size, offerings, and opportunities under Katie’s leadership.

Prior to joining Northeastern in 2016, Katie executed project implementation of a software service from start to finish for a digital healthcare company, consulting with senior leaders to ensure that product offerings provided tangible solutions for healthcare institutions.

Katie holds a B.A. in Communications and Arts Administration from Stonehill College, a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration and a M.S. in Project Management from Northeastern University.