A lifelong technology entrepreneur, Mr. Cooper brings a wealth of experience in investor relations, corporate governance, financial oversight and operational management. In 1999 he founded one of the first Internet security companies to provide financial institutions with reliable risk management solutions for their technological assets. The organization grew very rapidly eventually serving more than 400 institutions in 43 states and 6 countries. Since his successful exit in 2006, Mr. Cooper has mentored various organizations in the US and Mexico on sales, operations and financial matters with a focus on turnaround management.
Yair Alan Griver
An advisor to multiple startups, author of five books and worldwide speaker, Mr. Griver has taken leading roles in both startups and at Microsoft. During his 10 years at Microsoft, Alan was the founding Group Program Manager for the billing stream underlying Microsoft’s Online services (Office 365, Dynamics, Windows Azure) supporting hundreds of millions of users and billions of dollars in business, an architect for the Microsoft.com community properties, and Group Manager for the Visual Studio Data group, which produces the tools used inside of Visual Studio, Office and SQL Server that surface data capabilities.
Chief Operating Officer
Matthew has over 30 years of Marketing and Product Management experience. He has worked at both large, global companies (Siebel and Sears), and with several smaller companies and startups. He is an entrepreneur who founded a mobile application company. He led marketing at Winshuttle, helping the company grow from a startup to over $50M in revenue. Matthew has a degree in Physics from the University of Edinburgh and an MBA from the University of Michigan (Go Blue!). Outside work he enjoys spending time with his family, watching and sometimes playing rugby, and traveling.
Heidi is a highly experienced legal counsel. Throughout her career, she has focused on working with private companies and their founders. She has represented emerging, high growth and startup companies in a wide range of transactions, including angel and venture capital financings, mergers and acquisitions, technology licensing, and other strategic business transactions. Heidi has a BA from Western Washington University and got her JD at the University of Oregon Law School.
Senior Legal Advisor
Gary Bledsoe is President of the Texas NAACP and has held that position since being elected in 1991. The Austin lawyer, who specializes in public interest law, employment and civil rights law, has a longstanding relationship with the NAACP as a member of its National Board since 2003, and is currently the Chair of the National Criminal Justice Committee of the NAACP. Bledsoe has received several lawyers of the year awards from the Texas Attorney General and the Travis County Bar Association, the Austin and national NAACP, and the Austin Area Urban League, among others. He earned a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from the University Of Texas School Of Law, where he is the permanent class president of the Class of 1976. Gary also served as the dean of Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law.
Chief Financial Officer
Steven is a senior finance and operations executive with more than 25 years of executive-level management experience, specifically within technology-focused organizations. His specialties include: enterprise software/SaaS, international setup, M&A, raising capital, financial planning and modeling, and mergers. In his position as Managing Principal at New Venture Support, Inc., Steven provided CFO/COO support for early-stage companies and new ventures, with a focus on raising investment capital, international expansion, organizational infrastructure, financial planning and analysis. Previously, as Vice President Finance of Dexterra, Inc., an enterprise mobile software company, Steven raised $106M in venture funding and built global corporate and financial infrastructure to support international operations. Steven holds an MBA in International Business from Santa Clara University and a BS in Business Finance from San Jose State University.
Catherine M. Cooper
Director of Customer Relations
Ms. Cooper is a 7th-generation San Antonian with 30 years of accounting and customer service experience in various types of businesses in Texas. After spending several years managing a restaurant with more than 80 employees, she opted to turn her main focus to accounting and bookkeeping. She is comfortable working in any school of business, from restaurants to healthcare to legal to financial services. Her flexibility with handling multiple types of situations in different arenas makes her a valuable team member and a Jane-of-All-Trades. Ms. Cooper attended Baylor University, studying accounting and human resource management. Holding a Professional in Human Resource (PHR) certification from the HR Certificate Institute and certified in QuickBooks, she keeps herself up to date in all areas of interest by also being a Certified Pharmacy Technician and a Texas Master Gardener.