William Lohse Founding Partner William Lohse is an industry pioneer, having begun his career in the days of pre-Apple hobbyist computers. After founding and selling TimeLine software company to Symantec, he became the turn-around publisher of PC Magazine and president of Ziff Davis Publishing. Lohse founded Ziff/SOFTBANK Forums. In 1990, he began Software Venture Partners, an angel fund which, among other unicorns, invested in the first round of Pinterest. Bill started venture investing in 2010, which led to the founding of the Social Starts fund in 2012.

William Lohse
Founding Partner

William Lohse is an industry pioneer, having begun his career in the days of pre-Apple hobbyist computers. After founding and selling TimeLine software company to Symantec, he became the turn-around publisher of PC Magazine and president of Ziff Davis Publishing. Lohse founded Ziff/SOFTBANK Forums. In 1990, he began Software Venture Partners, an angel fund which, among other unicorns, invested in the first round of Pinterest. Bill started venture investing in 2010, which led to the founding of the Social Starts fund in 2012.

Mike Edelhart General Partner Mike Edelhart is a pioneering media and Internet start-up executive. Mike became widely known in tech circles as the original Executive Editor of PC Magazine and founding editor of other Ziff-Davis computer magazines, as well as the Ziff testing lab, testing software, and other operations. Mike rose to be the Executive Vice President of Ziff-Davis. In addition to his Social Starts role, Mike leads The Tomorrow Project, LLC, our companion operating company, which produces The Pivot Conference focused on big brands coping with the Social Construct. Mike was Managing Director and founder of First30 Services, a launch accelerator for early stage companies. He has held CEO and executive management positions at a range of start-ups and tech companies, including Olive Software, Inman News, Zinio, and Third Age Media. Mike was a partner at Redleaf, a VC firm. Earlier in his career, at SoftBank, Mike directed content for the Seybold, Interop and Comdex conferences and launched new businesses. He has also worked as an Internet strategies consultant to Bloomberg, Reuters, AARP and other major media and Internet companies. The author of more than 25 books, Mike earned a Bsc in journalism from the University of Northern Colorado.

Mike Edelhart
Managing Partner

Mike Edelhart is a pioneering media and startup executive. Mike was the original Executive Editor of PC Magazine and founding editor of other Ziff-Davis computer magazines, as well as the ZD Labs, and later was Executive Vice President at Ziff. Mike was CEO at many startups, including Olive Software, Inman News and Zinio. Mike was a partner at Redleaf, a VC fund. At SoftBank, Mike directed content for the Seybold, Interop and Comdex conferences and launched new businesses. Mike consulted to Bloomberg, Reuters and AARP and has authored more than 20 books.

Kevin Dasch Kevin Dasch has 20 years of experience in technology and spent the last decade working in social media and gaming. He was most recently Chief Operating Officer of Spredfast, Inc., where he was responsible for integrating Mass Relevance and Spredfast after their merger. Kevin became CFO of Mass Relevance in early 2012, leading finance, operations, legal, HR and corporate development, and helping the company scale from 20 to 160 employees in two years. Prior, he spent five years at IMVU first as VP, Finance and Business Development, then as Chief Revenue Officer, helping to grow revenue by 10 times during his tenure. Kevin also spent seven years at Dell, leading the company’s Corporate Strategy Group. Kevin also led marketing for Dell’s $4 billion Consumer and Small Business private label financing portfolio and was a consultant in Dell’s Corporate Development Group. Before Dell, Kevin was a management consultant with I/S/O Health Care Group, now a division of Monitor. Kevin earned a B.A. in History from Princeton University and an M.B.A. in Finance and Accounting from The McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin. Kevin is an avid reader of American history, a fan of the Texas Longhorns, and a very amateur golfer.

Kevin Dasch
Chief Operating Officer

Kevin Dasch has 20 years of experience in tech companies in software, social media and gaming.  With his leadership, both Mass Relevance (before merging with Spredfast) and IMVU grew to over 100 employees and tens of millions in revenue. Prior to moving into the startup world, Kevin ran the corporate strategy group at Dell Inc. Kevin holds a BA in History from Princeton University and an MBA in Finance and Accounting from The McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin. Kevin is an avid reader of American history, a fan of the Texas Longhorns, and a very amateur golfer.

Tony Peccatiello Principal After graduating from the University of Virginia, Tony began his career as a financial analyst for the University of Virginia Investment Management Company. In 2013, Tony moved to New York City to focus on building Pyne, a platform for individuals to ask questions; sparking unforeseen connections and conversations. Bringing the balanced perspective of both an entrepreneur and an investor to his role at Social Starts, Tony now focuses on sourcing new investments as well as helping existing portfolio companies succeed.

Tony Peccatiello
Principal

After graduating from the University of Virginia, Tony began his career as a financial analyst for the University of Virginia Investment Management Company. In 2013, Tony moved to New York City to focus on building Pyne, a platform for individuals to ask questions, sparking unforeseen connections and conversations. Bringing the balanced perspective of both an entrepreneur and an investor to his role at Social Starts, Tony now focuses on sourcing new investments as well as helping existing portfolio companies succeed.

Andrew Nealon Chief Analyst Andrew Nealon has been managing technology development in New York City for over a decade. Before joining Social Starts, he was the principal of operations for the New York development firm Insert Culture, which he founded to serve band’s growing API and data development needs. With Social Starts, he oversees special projects, data analysis and works with portfolio companies on their technology needs. He and his wife split time between Brooklyn and a 120-year-old farm in the Hudson Valley. He holds an MS in Media Management and Theory from the New School, and a BA in Speech and Rhetoric from Oregon State University.

Andrew Nealon
Chief Analyst

Andrew Nealon has been managing technology development in New York City for over a decade. Before Social Starts, he was the principal of operations for the New York development firm Insert Culture, which he founded to serve band’s growing API and data development needs. With Social Starts, he oversees special projects, data analysis, and portfolio companies' technical needs. He and his wife split time between Brooklyn and a 120-year-old farm in the Hudson Valley. He holds an MS in Media Management and Theory from the New School, and a BA in Speech and Rhetoric from Oregon State University.

Charles C. Smith Venture Partner Charles Smith has been an active NY angel investor since the mid-2000s who has invested in more than a dozen companies, and has worked for and sat on the boards of ten more. He founded Extension Entertainment, a social music discovery platform. He is the owner of The Ineo Group LLC. Charles spent three years as the Vice President of Etsy Inc., was Vice President of Sales at Tacoda and Executive Vice President of Corporate Development and Planning at RealMedia.

Charles C. Smith
Venture Partner

Charles Smith has been an active NY angel investor since the mid-2000s who has invested in more than a dozen companies, and has worked for and sat on the boards of ten more. He founded Extension Entertainment, a social music discovery platform. He is the owner of The Ineo Group LLC. Charles spent three years as the Vice President of Etsy Inc., was Vice President of Sales at Tacoda and Executive Vice President of Corporate Development and Planning at RealMedia.

Bob Wu Venture Partner Bob is currently the CEO and co-founder of Teleport, one of the first companies built on Uber’s API. Bob was previously at Ziff Brothers Investments for 7+ years investing in multiple asset classes and managing a $1 billion+ portfolio. He has held non-profit board positions with Amigos de las Americas – NY Chapter as well as Council of Urban Professionals (CUP). In his free time he teaches financial literacy to high school students through Junior Achievement (JA). He holds a BA in International Relations (Global Business) from the University of Southern California and is a 2nd degree black belt in kendo.

Bob Wu
Venture Partner

Bob is currently the CEO and cofounder of Teleport, one of the first companies built on Uber’s API. Bob was previously at Ziff Brothers Investments for 7+ years investing in multiple asset classes and managing a $1 billion+ portfolio. He has held nonprofit board positions with Amigos de las Americas – NY Chapter as well as Council of Urban Professionals. In his free time, he teaches financial literacy to high school students through Junior Achievement. He holds a BA in International Relations (Global Business) from the University of Southern California and is a 2nd degree black belt in kendo.

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Jim Louderback
Venture Partner

Jim Louderback advises startups and larger organizations on media and technology strategies and curates the Industry track of Vidcon. In 2007, Jim became CEO of Revision3, and led the startup to a 20x viewer increase, a 12x revenue increase, and nine prestigious awards. In 2012, he sold Revision3 to Discovery, led the integration, launched and acquired six new networks, and built Discovery Digital Networks. Prior to that, Jim spent 16 years in increasingly senior media and technology management roles at TechTV, PC Magazine and PC Week.

 
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Maria Zhang
Venture Partner

Maria Zhang is the VP of Engineering at Tinder. Prior to this, she was a VP of Engineering at Yahoo!, where she led the Personalization, Mobile and Content teams for the Publisher Platform organization. Maria founded Alike, a mobile local recommendation app which was acquired by Yahoo in February 2013. Before starting Alike, Maria was a Principal Software Development Manager at Microsoft, a Product Team Lead at Zillow.com, and a Senior Software Engineer at NetIQ Corp.

Nicole Staudinger Marketing Director Nicole Staudinger has more than seven years of experience helping companies refine, streamline, and optimize their communications systems. Most recently, she consulted with the Journalism Accelerator, where she pioneered the organization’s social media program, curated online forums, and facilitated community networking to encourage sustainability practices for journalists. Nicole strives to implement positive change through innovative media strategy by contributing her time and expertise to a variety of nonprofit organizations, including the Oregon Environmental Council, the Nonprofit Technology Network, and the World Pulse Digital Action Campaign. She holds a BA in Spanish from the University of Vermont.

Nicole Staudinger
Marketing Director

Nicole Staudinger has more than seven years of experience helping companies refine, streamline, and optimize their communications systems. Most recently, she consulted with the Journalism Accelerator, where she pioneered the organization’s social media program and facilitated community networking to encourage sustainability practices for journalists. Nicole implements change through innovative media strategy by contributing her time and expertise to a variety of nonprofits.