Invested in startups in Boston, NYC, LA, SF, and Chicago. Let’s connect.
Invested in 30+ founders with two early exits (one IPO).
I HUSTLE TO FIND FOUNDERS who can create great companies in big markets. When I find them I am decisive in the diligence and investment process, and helpful with support, advice and introductions.
BORN IN JAPAN, I am the daughter of a US Air Force Officer. Growing up in a military family, I was raised in five states, and five cities in the State of California alone. I was the kind of kid who joined every team sport I could ride my bike to, including baton twirling, volleyball, cheerleading, cross-country running, golf, tennis, swimming, rugby and softball (my favorite, for which I was named league MVP as a fastball pitcher). On military bases those teams were made up of kids from an extremely broad mix of backgrounds. Moving in and out of new towns and on and off new teams, I got good at seeing beyond the obvious and looking instead at ability, character, motivations, hustle and will. The resourceful, intangible assets. I believe these are critical for Founders in pulling off the marvel that is a startup, and that is why once I have done my diligence I am decisive in backing founders. Often with their first outside check.
At the University of New Hampshire in the 80’s, I was an instructor and lead climber for Advanced RockClimbing. After UNH, I moved to New York City without a job or knowing a single person there. One of the boldest and most affirming experiences of my life. I earned a JD from Georgetown University Law School, where I was elected Editor in Chief of my law journal, wrote an Article that was cited by the Supreme Court of California and received a coveted American Jurisprudence Award. Later I got an MBA from MIT Sloan, which fed a growing startup bug.
“Kirstan is a rock.” Ajanta Adhikari, Founder Ionate Inc.
I HAVE 20+ YEARS of operational start-up and scaling, financing, management and strategy experience. I was CoFounder of a fintech startup, and before that was instrumental in building a world-class competitor in a cut-throat asset management market. As a member of the senior management team, I played key strategic roles on distressed debt investment teams, managed the outside Board of Directors, handled HR matters, and launched projects on risk, valuation, operations, governance and cybersecurity. I built the legal, regulatory and compliance teams from scratch to a team of 10+, and directed everything from investor negotiations to investment transactions, and handled everything from high stakes litigation to media affairs.
I ALSO FOUNDED A SUCCESSFUL NONPROFIT START-UP. Named a #SOGOOD Award Finalist by BostInno and featured in the Boston Globe for its innovative model, SheGives is a platform to introduce donors to a portfolio of highly vetted, high impact nonprofits. SheGives founders are a cohort of Boston’s most accomplished women in finance, healthcare, biotechnology, venture capital and technology who together have made grants of almost $1m. SheGives. Smart Women. Smart Giving.
I believe in service to others, and 10% of my profits from each investment goes to nonprofits, including SheGives.
If you are the founder of an innovative high-growth company with potential to capture a big market, reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org, or use the form below. Thank you. Entrepreneurs: Help me out by using the drop down menu down there (so I am red-flagged with your pitch) and tell me who you and your founding team are (links to linked-in profiles are appreciated), what your big idea is, why you are the right team to bring it to the world and how big the market is for your innovation. I will be back in touch with you promptly. Thank you.