by Aaron Epstein5/11/2022
Every batch, we invite founders and executives to advise YC companies as Visiting Group Partners. These advisors bring valuable insights and recent operational experience to YC’s early-stage companies. Throughout the batch, they take on a variety of responsibilities, including application reading, interviews, group office hours, individual office hours, demo day prep, and more.
Welcome to JJ, Liz, Pete, and Puneet. And welcome back to Divya, Ashu, Tom, and Rich who joined us after the W22 Visiting Group Partners were announced.
JJ was co-founder and CTO of WayUp (W15), the leading DEI recruiting platform used by millions. WayUp raised $40 million and was named by CNN as one of the 30 most innovative companies changing the world. JJ has been featured in the Forbes 30 Under 30, Silicon Valley 100, and as a speaker and advisor on technology and hiring topics. Prior to WayUp, JJ spent a year as a freelancing backpacker in 16 countries, then joined McKinsey as a consultant in New York. JJ received his BA in International Studies and BS in Economics from Penn and enjoys languages and linguistics, cooking with his flamethrower, fancy coffee, and decidedly unfancy $1 pizza.
Liz was co-founder and CEO of WayUp (W15), the leading Diversity & Inclusion recruitment platform used by 6+ million candidates (71% of whom self-identify as underrepresented) and thousands of employers. WayUp raised $40M, and after 7 years, merged with Yello, another recruitment software platform. Liz has been featured in various publications from Forbes 30 Under 30 to Business Insider’s “18 Coolest Women in Silicon Valley.” Prior to WayUp, Liz was in the APMM program at Google (in San Francisco and India), and before that, Liz attended the University of Pennsylvania where she studied political science, mathematics, and Japanese. With her free time, Liz enjoys hiking with her husband and their cavapoo, volunteering on a weekly basis, traveling, and working with / investing in great founders.
Pete co-founded Optimizely (W10) which helps companies run experiments on their websites and apps. For more than a decade, he helped Optimizely grow from inception to $100M+ in ARR and, ultimately, an acquisition in 2020. Pete holds a Master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. An avid rock climber, he lives in Reno with his wife.
Puneet was the founder and CEO of Supr Daily (W17), a consumer grocery startup based out of India that was acquired by Swiggy. Supr created the daily delivery model by reducing the last mile costs by 10x. Before exiting Supr, he scaled the company to $100M in annual revenue run rate. He is a 2x founder, an alumnus of IIT Bombay, and a maker by background. He currently lives in Bangalore with his wife.
Rich co-founded WePay (S09), a multi-party payments API for B2B SaaS platforms, POS systems, and online marketplaces. As Chief Product and Strategy Officer, he helped raise $75M in venture capital, grow the company to 300 employees, and achieve profitability before being acquired by JPMorgan Chase in 2018. Following the acquisition, Rich was a Managing Director at Chase Payment Solutions until 2021. He holds a degree in economics, political science, and philosophy from Boston College, and lives with his wife and young son in Santa Cruz, California, where he is an avid surfer and golfer.
Aaron is a Group Partner at YC. He was the co-founder and CEO of Creative Market (YC W10), a marketplace for graphic design assets, which was acquired by Autodesk in 2014.