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 all by investing in science-based startups? Propel(x) is making this vision a reality.
Beyond the hype of internet startups, there’s a world where startups are developing new forms of clean energy, life saving drugs, and exciting new materials. They are also using data analytics, artificial intelligence, and other significant scientific and technological breakthroughs to change the world and build the next generation of great companies. We connect our members with these exciting startups.
Discover these startups anywhere in the world via our online platform.
Evaluate with direct Q&A with experts, customers, and the management team.
Participate with ease and develop a diversified portfolio via small ticket sizes.
Prior to starting Propel(x), Swati worked in management consulting and investing. Most recently, Swati worked at Exigen Capital on IT Telecom, Travel, and BPO deals. Before this, she sourced and evaluated deals in the Industrial Automation sector with Siemens Venture Capital. Swati is also the co-founder and coordinator of the MIT Alumni Angel Investors group. Swati has an MBA from the Sloan School of Management, an M.S. from MIT (Technology and Policy Program) and an M.S. from UC Berkeley (Civil Engineering). She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the Indian Institute of Technology.
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.
VP, Product and
Shirley joined Propel(x) with investment banking and strategy consulting experience that focused mostly on financial services, industrial, and infrastructure sectors. She was previously an Engagement Manager at McKinsey (Asia Pacific) with emphasis on market expansion and mega-project financing. Shirley also acquired due diligence and primary research experience in the financial services sector as an M&A investment banker with JPMorgan in New York and Hong Kong. Shirley received her MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management and a B.S. in Computer Science/Electrical Engineering and Economics from MIT. She is a relatively recent transplant to SF in order to bask in the fog, explore the great outdoors and freeze her toes in the Pacific. Shirley is a high-frequency traveler and has visited 35 countries on 6 continents.
Asma joins Propel(x) with extensive marketing and start-up experience. She consulted for technology companies ranging from public companies looking to reinvent themselves to early-stage startups in need of developing their story and establishing their marketing presence. Previously, Asma headed ModaaMi, a personalized ecommerce platform which she founded and took from idea to innovative start-up. Before that, Asma oversaw corporate communications for Financial Engines, the original robo-advisor and now the largest Registered Investment Advisor in the country. Asma has a BA in History from Santa Clara University. In her free time Asma loves to travel the world over in search of the ultimate foodie and fashion finds.
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.
Sr. Business Operations Manager
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.
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.