Alumni Spotlight is pleased to announce The Top 100 University of Virginia Alumni in Technology of 2021. The University of Virginia, founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson, upholds its long-standing reputation as a leading academic institution of the United States. They remain an example for other universities with their commitments to equality and diversity and vision of “discovery, innovation, and development of the full potential of talented students from all walks of life.” Every year the university receives donations, which it uses to expand on its mission and legacy. In 2019 UVA received the largest donation in its history of $120 million from Jaffray and Merrill Woodriff to establish a School of Data Science and recently received a generous donation from Capital One to make advancements on a new Data Science building.
Through its commitment to education comes the success of the students and faculty that walk the campus daily. Recently, President Joe Biden appointed UVA professor in the Biocomplexity Institute, Catherine Woteki, to the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. His trust in Woteki speaks to the caliber of educators that have guided this year’s awardees towards their successes. While there are well known alumni like Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman, co-founders of Redditt, there are also countless other alumni making noteworthy contributions.
Alumni Mark Straub of Smile Identity is building tools and software for online identification for banks, telecoms, financial services and shared economy applications in Africa and beyond. Alumni Jessie Woolley-Wilson of DreamBox Learning and Sara LaHayne of Move This World are both using technology to change education for future generations by providing customized learning environments. Others like Tyler Scriven of Saltbox are using their innovative ideas to develop breakthrough technologies in logistics services and warehousing, providing end users with a seamless delivery experience. These individuals and the rest of this year's awardees are leading companies that are working tirelessly to harness technology to improve experiences for individuals and enterprises worldwide.
Please join us in celebrating the achievements of the Top 100 University of Virginia Alumni in Technology of 2021.
1. Alexis Ohanian
Seven Seven Six
Alexis Ohanian is the Founder of Seven Seven Six. He founded the company in 2020 and raised $150 million for its first fund. Seven Seven Six is a venture capital firm that primarily seeks to invest in seed rounds for software and technology companies.
Previously, Ohanian was a Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Initialized Capital and a founder for Breadpig. He also spent time as an Advisor and the Head of Marketing at Hipmunk and a Partner of Y Combinator. He is most well-known for his role in co-founding Reddit where he served on the board until 2020. Ohanian earned an undergraduate degree in History and Commerce from the University of Virginia.
5. Portman Wills
Portman Wills is a Co-Founder and CTO of Wagestream. Wagestream works with employers to give people power over their pay with the ability to track, access, save and learn about managing their pay, all in one app. Wills has 25 years in the financial services industry. He began his career in 1996.
Before founding Wagestream, Wills was a Chief Data Officer at Sports Illustrated Play and before that a Chief Information Officer at GSN for TV and Games. Earlier in his career he worked with PSINet as a Web Developer. Wills graduated from the University of Virginia with an undergraduate degree in Mathematics, Economics, and Computer Science.
6. Anton Levy
Anton Levy began his professional career 25 years ago. Today, he is the Co-President, Managing Director, and Global Head of Technology of General Atlantic. General Atlantic is a leading global growth equity firm providing capital and strategic support for growth companies. They have more than 175 investment professionals based in New York, Amsterdam, Beijing, Hong Kong, Jakarta, London, Mexico City, Mumbai, Munich, Palo Alto, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore and Stamford.
Levy first got his start in 1996 as an Analyst at Morgan Stanley. Levy graduated from Columbia Business School with an MBA and from the University of Virginia with an undergraduate degree.
10. Chenxi Wang
Dr. Chenxi Wang is the Founder and General Partner of Rain Capital, a Silicon Valley-based venture fund. She founded the company in 2017. Rain Capital is an early-stage venture capital fund focusing on transformative technologies in the cybersecurity, AI, and analytics space.
A well-known operator, technologist, and thought leader in the cybersecurity industry, Wang is a member of the Board of Directors for MDU Resources, a Fortune 500 company. She also serves on the board of advisors for SC media, Secure Code Warrior, Athena Technology Acquisition Corp, and a number of other startups. Previously, Wang was Vice-Chair on the global board of directors for the OWASP Foundation, the largest security professionals' consortium in the world. Wang started her career as a Professor of Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. She also served as the Chief Strategy Officer of Twistlock, VP of Strategy for Intel Security, and VP of Research for Forrester. Wang earned a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Virginia.
18. Rahul Gandhi
Rahul Gandhi is the Co-Founder and CEO of MakeSpace. He founded the company in 2013. MakeSpace is taking the struggle out of storage and reinventing an antiquated industry in the process. They’ve designed a hassle-free experience using a fully integrated system, from back-end routing to warehouse logistics, and a consumer app, complete with a digital photo inventory of stored items, to allow people to store and retrieve their belongings on-demand.
Previously, Gandhi was a Principal at Primary Venture Partners and before that a Senior Manager of Corporate Development at AOL LLC. Earlier in his career he worked with Bank of America as an Analyst. Gandhi earned an MBA from Columbia Business School, an MS from the University of Virginia, and an undergraduate degree from The George Washington University School of Business.
21. Trevor Kaufman
Trevor Kaufman is the CEO of Piano. He first joined the company in 2015. Piano enables the world’s largest media companies and brands to accelerate their subscription, advertising, analytics, and personalization initiatives in order to engage, monetize and measure content experiences.
Previously, Kaufman was a CEO at Tinypass and before that a CEO at Possible Worldwide. Earlier in his career he worked with The Voyager Company as a Director of Internet Operations. Kaufman earned an undergraduate degree in English and Economics from the University of Virginia.
26. Paul Tudor Jones
Tudor Investment Corporation
Paul Tudor Jones is the Founder of Tudor Investment Corporation. He founded the company in 1980. Tudor is a large manager of hedge funds investing in equities, derivatives and forex across global markets. They are a group of self-starters who are entrepreneurial, deeply engaged in the markets, pioneers in the use of technology, performance-driven, and sensible in the face of risk.
In addition to his roles with Tudor, Jones is the Founder of The Robin Hood Foundation which was founded in 1988. Jones graduated from the University of Virginia with an undergraduate degree in Economics.
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32. Steven McKnight
UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
Steven McKnight began his professional career 44 years ago. Today, he is the Chairman and Professor for the Department of Biochemistry of UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. UT Southwestern is an academic medical center, world-renowned for its research and technology, regarded among the best in the country for medical education and for clinical and scientific training, and nationally recognized for the quality of care its faculty provides to patients at UT Southwestern’s University Hospital & Clinics and affiliated institutions.
McKnight first got his start in 1977 as a Staff Associate at Carnegie Institution for Science. From there, he went on to Howard Hughes Medical Institute, before eventually rising to Co-Founder and Director of Research at Tularik, his most recent position prior to joining UT Southwestern Medical Center. McKnight graduated from the University of Virginia with a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and from The University of Texas at Austin with an undergraduate degree in Molecular Biology.
37. Mark Gilbreath
Mark Gilbreath began his professional career 33 years ago. Today, he is the CEO and Founder of LiquidSpace. LiquidSpace invented real-time real estate and disrupted the traditional office industry. Their digital marketplace enables professionals, companies and real estate leaders to fluidly discover, transact, and manage workplaces on-demand.
Gilbreath first got his start in 1988 as an ASIC Design Engineer at Wyle Laboratory. From there, he went on to Trinity Technologies, before eventually rising to CEO at Venga Ventures, his most recent position prior to founding LiquidSpace. Gilbreath graduated from the University of Virginia with an undergraduate degree in Computer Architecture.
41. Spence Green
Spence Green began his professional career 17 years ago. Today, he is the CEO of Lilt Inc. Lilt is the modern language service and technology provider enabling localized customer experiences. They bring human-powered, technology-assisted translations to global enterprises. Lilt gives organizations everything they need to scale their translation programs, go-to-market faster than ever, and improve the global customer experience.
Green first got his start in 2004 as a Software Engineer at Northrop Grumman Corporation. Green graduated from Stanford University with a Ph.D. and MS in Computer Science and from the University of Virginia with an undergraduate degree in Computer Engineering.
45. Reggie Aggarwal
Reggie Aggarwal is the Founder and CEO of Cvent. He founded the company in 1999. Cvent is the leading cloud-based event management technology company with over 200,000 users and nearly 4,000 employees worldwide.
Previously, Aggarwal was a Founder and Chairman at TiE DC and before that an Attorney at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP. Earlier in his career he worked with PwC as a Senior Associate. Aggarwal earned an LLM from Georgetown University Law Center, a JD in law from Washington and Lee University School of Law, and an undergraduate degree in Finance from the University of Virginia.
51. Christopher Trapp
Christopher Trapp is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of UPSTACK. UPSTACK is the fast-growing platform that is transforming the way businesses architect and source cloud and internet infrastructure solutions. Trapp has 15 years in the information technology and services industry. He began his career in 2006.
Before founding UPSTACK, Trapp was a Managing Partner at Trapp Technology Partners and before that a Co-Founder at Aligned. Earlier in his career he founded Blue Ridge Data Center. Trapp graduated from the University of Virginia with an undergraduate degree.
55. Sara LaHayne
Move This World
Sara LaHayne began her professional career 13 years ago. Today, she is the Founder and CEO of Move This World. Move This World is the leading provider of social-emotional learning multimedia experiences for PreK-12 students, educators, and families. The extensive multimedia library provides a robust and engaging daily curriculum- experiences designed to empower students by strengthening the skills that foster wellbeing and establishing a common language among students, educators and families.
LaHayne first got her start in 2008 as an Account Executive at Powell Tate|Weber Shandwick. From there, she went on to the U.S. Association for the University for Peace, before eventually rising to Chief Operating Officer at Atlas Service Corps, her most recent position prior to founding Move This World. LaHayne graduated from the University of Virginia with an undergraduate degree in Foreign Affairs and Spanish.
63. Jessie Woolley-Wilson
Jessie Woolley-Wilson is President and CEO of DreamBox Learning®, the leading education technology provider that in 2006 pioneered intelligent adaptive learning. DreamBox Learning® provides a deeply personalized learning experience that guides and engages students at all levels with a combination of a rigorous K-8 math curriculum and a motivating learning environment. Woolley-Wilson has 27 years in the e-learning industry. She began her career in 1994.
Prior to joining DreamBox, Woolley-Wilson held executive positions at multiple leading EdTech companies, including Blackboard, LeapFrog, and Kaplan. She has served on several boards, including Quizlet, Rosetta Stone, and the Western Governors University Board of Trustees. She has been a featured speaker at many events, including TEDx Rainier, SXSWedu, DENT, GeekWire Summit, and the ASU GSV Summit. Woolley-Wilson holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from the University of Virginia.
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67. Matt Emery
Matt Emery is the General Partner of JMI Equity. He first joined the company in 2006. JMI Equity is a growth equity firm focused on investing in leading software companies.
Previously, Emery was an Analyst of Technology Investment Banking at Thomas Weisel Partners LLC, and before that a Research Associate at Thompson, Siegel & Walmsley, Inc. Emery earned an undergraduate degree in Commerce from the University of Virginia.
72. Andrew Riesenfeld
Andrew Riesenfeld is the Vice President of GTM Operations & Productivity at DocuSign. He first joined the company in 2014. DocuSign ensures the security, mobility, reliability, and ease of use users need to digitally transform their business. Since its inception in 2003, DocuSign has been on a mission to accelerate business and simplify life for companies and people around the world.
Riesenfeld previously served as the Vice President of Sales + Customer Success at Heighten, a System of Work built to enable salespeople to operate faster and smarter, where he led the company to an acquisition by LinkedIn. Prior to Heighten, he served as the VP of WW Sales Development + Pipeline at Responsys where he helped lead the company to an acquisition by Oracle. Riesenfeld graduated from The University of Virginia with an undergraduate degree in Sociology and a four-year letterwinner in baseball.
74. Keen Browne
Keen Browne is the Co-Founder and Head of Product of Bonsai. Bonsai empowers every developer, regardless of machine learning expertise, to program sophisticated AI applications. Bonsai was acquired by Microsoft in 2018 and Browne continues his work as the Group Program Manager.
Prior to founding Bonsai, Browne was the Project Manager, Software Engineer and CEO of JobCompass. He also previously founded ECitySky Limited in China and was the Co-Founder of Metatek. Early on in his career he spent four years with Microsoft as a Developer Evangelist and Program Manager. Browne graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in Computer Science.
87. Lauren Driscoll
Lauren Driscoll is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Project Well. Project Well is a health technology platform that sources the best healthy food vendors. They gather clinical context and preferences from targeted health plan and health system members with nutritionally sensitive health conditions and risk of food insecurity, and intelligently match these individuals with food solutions.
Prior to founding Project Well, Driscoll was the lead of Medicare business at Oxford Health Plans and Principal at Leavitt Partners, LLC. She has a master’s in Health Policy and Management from Columbia University and bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Virginia.
88. Amit Jain
Amit Jain is the Senior Vice President of TA Associates, a global growth private equity firm. They have more than 50 years of experience helping to scale companies in targeted sectors within their five core industries of technology, healthcare, financial services, consumer and business services. Since their founding, TA has raised $47.5 billion in capital and has invested in more than 550 companies around the world.
Jain first got his start in Investment Banking with UBS before moving on to become a Senior Associate at Marlin Equity Partners. In addition to his current roles with TA, Jain serves as a Board Member with Idera, DigiCert, Edifecs, Invanti, Netwirx Corporation and PDQ.com. Jain earned a bachelors degree in Finance and Management from the University of Virginia.
92. Rob Wise
Rob Wise is the CTO of Aumni, an investment analytics company that monitors economics and legal rights from source private capital transactions. To date, Aumni has raised over $70M in venture capital funding, most recently securing J.P. Morgan as a lead investor. Aumni has quickly become a world leader in venture capital data. Wise has 6 years in the computer software industry. He began his career in 2015.
Before joining Aumni, Wise was a Senior Software Engineer at Ember.AI. Earlier in his career he worked with ShakaCode as a Software Engineer. Wise graduated from Drexel University with a MS and from the University of Virginia with an undergraduate degree in Economics.
93. Tom Roberts
Harbert Growth Partners
Tom Roberts is a General Partner and Co-Founder of Harbert Growth Partners (HGP), which makes emerging growth stage investments in disruptive technology and software companies. The HGP team combines substantial investment, advisory, and operating experience with capital and networking contacts to support great entrepreneurial teams in successfully executing their growth plans.
In addition to his roles with HPG, Roberts serves on the boards of Connected2Fiber, Crunchy Data, Sidecar and WhyHotel. He has managed many successful portfolio company outcomes, including Clarabridge (sold to Qualtrics), Two Six Labs (sold to The Carlyle Group), Cloud Elements (sold to UiPath), Stella Connect (sold to Medallia), and Voci Technologies (sold to Medallia), Mobile Posse (sold to Digital Turbine), Invincea (sold to Sophos), JackBe (sold to Software AG) and Agility Healthcare (sold to GE Healthcare). He is also a member of the board of the Virginia Biosciences Health Research Corporation which allocates grants for collaborative bioscience research on behalf of the Virginia state government. Roberts holds an MBA and undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia.
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94. Christian Ostberg
Fin Venture Capital
Christian Ostberg is an Investment Partner of Fin Venture Capital. Fin is a globally focused and early stage FinTech venture capital firm based in San Francisco. Ostberg has 9 years in the venture capital and private equity industry. He began his career in 2012.
Before joining Fin Venture Capital, Ostberg worked in Business Operations & Strategy at Eden Inc. and before that an Investment Banking Analyst at Houlihan Lokey. Earlier in his career he worked with Virginia Venture Fund as a Founding Partner. Ostberg graduated from the University of Virginia with an undergraduate degree in Finance, Management and Entrepreneurship.
98. Alec Marshall
Alec Marshall is the Co-Founder, Managing Partner and Creative Director of Silicon Drive. Silicon Drive is a high-performance marketing and creative team focused on startups and emerging brands across Los Angeles, San Francisco, and worldwide.
Previously Marshall led product and marketing teams at Apple, Adobe, Avid/ProTools, Roku, Peel and more. Following his undergraduate degree in sociology and economics from the University of Virginia, Marshall studied management communications at Old Dominion University.
99. Alex Bagden
Rooster Grin Media
Alex Bagden is the CEO and Founder of Rooster Grin Media. Rooster Grin provides web development, web hosting, search engine optimization services, appointment reminders, VOIP, and online scheduling to all types of clients including orthodontists and dentists.
Previously, Bagden was a Senior Associate at glendonTodd Capital LLC. Earlier in his career he worked with Oak Island Capital as an Associate. Bagden earned an MBA from Southern Methodist University, an undergraduate degree in Physics from the University of Virginia and a masters in Education from the Curry School.
100. Peter Lipson
Peter Lipson is the Managing Director of HarbourVest Partners. He first joined the company in 1997 as an Associate. HarbourVest is an independent investment firm that provides innovative private equity solutions to institutional clients worldwide.
Previously, Lipson was a Financial Analyst at Salomon Brothers. Lipson earned an MS from the University of Virginia.
View the complete list of awardees.