Propel(x) is where investors connect with world-changing startups.
What if you were able to unleash huge innovations, grow great businesses, and truly impact the way we live? And what if you could do it while also achieving great investment returns? Propel(x) is making that vision a reality.
Propel(x) is an investment marketplace that gives investors the power to change the world. By funding breakthrough technology startups, you can empower companies that are finding cures for debilitating diseases, creating abundant energy for all, and even taking us into space.
Discover startups that are changing the world through science & technology breakthroughs
Evaluate startups via direct Q&A with the management team, customers, and third-party experts
Invest with ease, and develop a diversified portfolio via small ticket sizes
Swati has been a management consultant, an investment professional and is now an entrepreneur. Prior to starting Propel(x), Swati was an investment professional at Exigen Capital, where she worked on IT Telecom, Travel, and BPO deals. Before that, she was a management consultant working across a variety of industries. Swati is the co-founder of the MIT Alumni Angel Investors group. She founded and led the group 2013 – 2015, and continues to be on the screening committee. She has an MBA from the Sloan School of Management, an M.S. from MIT, an M.S. from UC Berkeley, and a Bachelor’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee. Outside of work, Swati loves to spend time with family, watch movies and read (when time permits, increasingly less these days).
Lisheng has a background of 15 years in financial services, management consulting, and IT. His resume includes risk management at Wells Fargo, corporate strategy at KeyBank, consulting at The World Bank and Public Strategies, and software engineering at Microsoft. Lisheng co-founded the MIT Alumni Angels Group with Swati, where he currently serves on the steering committee. Lisheng has an M.S. in Technology and Policy from MIT and a B.S. in Chemistry from Fudan University in China. He is a huge fan of soccer and basketball, enjoys reading, and loves traveling with his wife and two young kids. He is devoted to community service and is on the Board of Trustees at Montessori de Terra Linda.
Jason has over 20 years of experience implementing software solutions across a wide range of industries. In 1998, Jason co-founded Billpoint, an online payments startup that was funded by Sequoia Capital and acquired in 1999 by eBay for $125 million. Jason conceived, designed and led the implementation of Billpoint's software platform. Jason was a founding employee of Cambridge Technology Partners, where he spent nine years leading multi-million-dollar technology custom software implementations for major CTP clients including HP, Charles Schwab and Lockheed. Jason holds a B.A. in Computer Science from Harvard University, and holds 3 U.S. patents.
Director, Business Development
Mark Zhu recently joined Propel(x) as Director of Business Development to grow the participation level of institutional and international investors in the Propel(x) community. Mark will also be developing relationships with early stage companies in the Eastern US. Prior to joining Propel(x), Mark has been an investor with Gibraltar Ventures (Prudential Financial), Connecticut Innovations, and DTE Energy Ventures. Over the eight years, Mark had invested over $30 M in approximately 15 early stage companies in energy, materials, FinTech, and software areas. Some of the notable deals include A123, Blooom, Device42, Digital Currency Group, QD Vision, SDC Material, and SeeClickFix. Before starting his investment career, Mark had been a control and systems engineer with United Technologies and Praxair developing alternative energy solutions and advanced control systems. Mark was a co-inventor on four US patents. Mark received his MBA from Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Louisiana State University.
Director, Business Operations
Jorine joined Propel(x) with a background in biomolecular research, process engineering and hardware development. Prior to joining, she was the first employee and Head of Technical Operations of a deep technology startup developing a precision microfiltration technology used for the cold sterilization of beverages. To satisfy her broad interest in science and technology, Jorine worked as freelance science journalist for a Dutch national newspaper throughout her studies. She holds an M.S. in Biomolecular Sciences from the VU University Amsterdam and a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Amsterdam, both in the Netherlands. As a recent transplant to SF and an avid rock climber, she loves to explore all the mountains and crags that her new home has to offer.
John is a scientist, entrepreneur and corporate development professional. His research studies have been cited by nearly 5,000 publications, and his work with stem cells was featured on the cover of Time Magazine. He was one of the first employees of iPierian, a drug discovery startup that was acquired for $725M and spun out True North Therapeutics, which was acquired for an additional $825M. John helped launch Mavericks Capital, an investment bank for early-stage life science companies developing new products in biotech, biopharma, medical devices and digital health. Most recently, John led US operations for a revenue generating company using DNA sequencing and machine learning to predict disease risk and develop mitigation strategies in agriculture. John completed a Fellowship at Harvard and holds a Ph.D. from Princeton and B.S. from Tufts. More recently, John completed the winemaking program at UC, Davis and founded a winery named after his Akita, Persephone.
Reuben has helped Fortune 500 companies apply the scientific method to refine their business strategy. Prior to joining Propel(x), Reuben helped RetailNext grow 100% year-over-year to become the world-wide leader for in-store analytics & IoT. He has held various roles in marketing and is excited to join the Propel(x) mission to help high impact startups solve the worlds biggest problems. Reuben holds a B.A in Economics from UC Santa Barbara. In his spare time he likes to calculate the optimal quantity of burritos and the marginal utility of live music events.
Investor Operations Associate
Andy joined Propel(x) with a diverse background in finance, entrepreneurship and operations. Prior to joining, Andy was an investment banker for Robert W. Baird, where he focused on M&A in the Industrials and Business Services groups. Andy is passionate about early stage company development and financing, especially in high-impact areas like life-sciences and energy. He previously worked with Picoyune, an early-stage Mercury sensor startup and helped develop their initial go-to-market strategy and identify early customers. Andy spent the first chapter of his career as a co-founder and manager of a cycling store in San Francisco. Andy holds an MBA from the Cornell Johnson School of Graduate Management, where he received the Roy H. Park Leadership Fellow award, and a B.A. from Oberlin College in Religion and Politics. Outside of work Andy spends as much time as possible cycling, open water swimming, playing squash and cooking with friends. When possible, he volunteers as a rooftop solar installer. He is a San Francisco “local,” but still enjoys finding new hidden corners of the city.
Business Operations Associate
Ankesh joins Propel(x) with experience in venture capital and also as a startup founder. Prior to joining, he co-founded and headed up product development at Undercover Colors, a company dedicated to reducing drug-facilitated sexual assault. Undercover Colors has raised $7M from Mark Cuban and other investors to develop its nail products. Ankesh then got his chops in the investing world during his time working with the Duke Angel Network and as an Associate at Cofounders Capital, where he performed diligence that led to investments in 6 early-stage startups. Ankesh holds a B.S. in Materials Science & Engineering from North Carolina State University and attended Duke University for 2 years of graduate education. As yet another recent SF transplant, he spends his free time on the tennis courts, playing with new tech, or with his nose buried in a book.
Operations & Marketing Coordinator
Haley comes to Propel(x) with extensive knowledge of the creative arts, particularly in the writing world. Having worked for various start-ups since graduating high school, she has cultivated an ever-growing understanding of early stage companies and the inner workings of building a business. Haley is currently finishing her degree through San Francisco State University. In her free time, she enjoys watching movies, reading books, and hiking to the top of tall things.
Operations & Marketing Coordinator
Sabrina joins Propel(x) with a Bachelor’s degree in English with a writing emphasis from the University of San Francisco – proving there is room for people with creative art degrees in the world of tech. She has experience in journalism and creative writing as well. Having started her own horse walking services while in grammar school, Sabrina is no stranger to entrepreneurial spirit. In her spare time, Sabrina enjoys horseback riding, reading, and exploring every type of terrain.
Zena has a Master of Fine Arts from Academy of Art University in San Francisco, where she focused on user interface experience design, basic programming, and new media. After she graduated, she worked at Bosch Research and Technology Center North America, designing the user interface of Axon intelligent system. From there, she decided to pursue a career in visual design that can offer challenges and opportunities to interact with other people. To her, life is about exploring, learning, creating new things, and communicating oneself to the world. Her passions are art, design, and photography. She likes traveling around the world and exploring interesting vintage stores and coffee shops in San Fransisco.