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Doubling Down on Founder Support & Success at Forum Ventures: Welcoming New Partners and Celebrating Our Team

Maggie Bolt
Feb 7, 2024
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min read

We've got some exciting team news to share from our corner of the world at Forum Ventures. It's not just about new titles; it's about recognizing the incredible journeys and the passion our team brings to supporting our portfolio founders, every single day. While a lot of funds are cutting back on platform and portfolio support during the market downturn, Forum sees it as a driving force and necessity during these times. As our firm continues to grow – both in headcount and the number of founders we support – we recognize the importance of a robust and diverse leadership team to propel this growth forward. 

Meet Our New Partners: Olivia and Bocar

First up, a huge congratulations to Olivia O'Sullivan and Bocar Dia, our new Partners! 🎉

Olivia, who you probably know as our Head of Platform, has been the heart and soul behind providing portfolio founder support at every stage of their journey.  She brings a deep understanding of the critical role platform teams play in venture capital, commenting, “The platform function within venture capital is instrumental. It's more than just funding; it's about building resilient ecosystems that propel B2B SaaS companies from ideation to sustainable success. Our primary objectives revolve around sourcing incredible companies, improving the fund-through rate, and offering hands-on GTM & Sales support. Our founders feel not only genuinely supported by our platform team but also experience tangible results for their businesses.” Olivia joined Forum over 5 years ago and has helped grow the team to 25+ people, and develop a portfolio of over  400 companies. She was also recently Featured as one of 5 Women to Watch in Venture and won the Women in Platform Award.

Bocar, evolving from his role as Managing Director, has been instrumental in guiding founders through the complexity of zero to one go-to-market, including early customer and market validation, founder-led sales fundamentals, and fundraising. Bocar comments on the evolving investment landscape, saying, “In today's competitive investment climate, traction is no longer a nice-to-have but a necessity. Founders must validate the market need, have a deep understanding of customer pain points, the impact their solution can provide, and have strong early signals of a repeatable motion and product-market fit.” Pulling from his experience as one of the very first Enterprise Sales hires at Hootsuite, Bocar tells founders what they need to hear, not just what they want to hear, especially when it comes to navigating sales cycles and closing their first customers.

Meet Our New Studio Heads: Alice and Sid

At Forum’s AI Studio, Alice Krenitski and Sid Bharath have been promoted to Head of Studio! 🎉 

Alice is a crucial player in our company's journey of turning innovative concepts into thriving businesses. Her role involves pinpointing markets with a problem to solve, validating solutions, and then translating those solutions into viable companies. Alice brings a wealth of company design and building experience to Forum Ventures’ AI Studio from her roles as Head of Business Design at Human Ventures and Director of Design Research & Strategy at OpenFin.  Together, we are excited to shape the future of technology and create companies that push the boundaries of what is possible. 

Sid is an AI and Technology enthusiast whose expertise runs the gamut from founding multiple companies to growth marketing to product development and more. Sid started at Forum Ventures in 2019 as a mentor, and then joined us as a portfolio founder in our Accelerator in 2020. At Forum Ventures’ AI Studio, Sid works alongside Alice on finding market problems,  concept validation and product development from inception to launch, with a focus on growth after product launch. His ability to seamlessly blend AI and other advanced technologies into practical applications sets him apart as an industry leader.

This year, we are thrilled to build and launch 8 new B2B SaaS companies from the ground up through our AI Studio. These companies are born out of a combination of cutting-edge technology and a deep understanding of industry needs. As we embark on this exciting venture, Alice and Sid’s expertise will play a pivotal role in shaping these companies' products and ensuring their success.

Michael Cardamone, Forum’s CEO and Managing Partner comments “Over the last 3 years, the team at Forum Ventures has grown and leveled up in ways that I couldn’t have imagined. The talent here is exceptional, and we have been working incredibly hard to create a supportive, founder-first fund, accelerator, and studio.” 

Enhancing Our Founder Experience: Dani Pico and More

Dani Pico is stepping up from Community Director to Head of Platform. Dani has been laser-focused on founder support, ensuring our portfolio companies have what they need to reach sustainable, healthy growth. Her promotion is a testament to her commitment to enhancing our programming with post-investment support like customer introductions, founder resources, and mentorship. Dani’s expertise will be pivotal in enriching our community, offering support tailored to the unique needs of each founder.

We invest in 100+ companies a year across our Venture Studio, Accelerator and Pre-Seed funds; and have 30+ employees across two countries and a lot of States, it has been an incredible amount of work on the legal and finance side of things. Therefore, we are celebrating the promotion of Ellie Bof to Director of Finance, who has been a warrior in closing our books, ensuring accurate reporting to our LPs, processing invoices, and ultimately keeping the lights on and Navid Wheeler to General Counsel who ensures we stay compliant and can move quickly when reviewing documents.

Naomi Goez is now a Principal on our investment team, leading a team of associates and analysts and supporting thesis development. We would also like to warmly welcome back Alexis Clarfield-Henry, our VP of Marketing, from parental leave, where her expertise and leadership will be used to double down on our brand strategies and drive increased awareness. Their roles are crucial in maintaining the stability and growth of our fund and its ventures.

A Bright Future Ahead

These changes are about making us better at what we do best – finding and supporting founders from concept to launch, to sustainable growth. We’re here to make sure you've got everything you need on your startup journey, from that first seed of an idea to raising your first round, and beyond. Think of us as your go-to co-founder and team, here to help with the heavy lifting so you can focus on making a product that solves the core needs of your customers. 

The elevation of Olivia and Bocar to Partners, along with the promotions of Alice, Sid, Dani, Ellie, and the return of Alexis, strengthens our capacity to foster groundbreaking B2B SaaS companies, setting new benchmarks in the venture capital ecosystem.

As always, we’re on the lookout for awesome B2B SaaS companies to join our portfolio, and ideas and founders to join our AI Studio. This year, we are writing 80+ checks into bold, ambitious founders, and launching 8 Studio companies from scratch. If you’ve got an idea for a transformative, tech-enabled product, we’ve got the time.

So here's to new beginnings, big dreams, and even bigger achievements. We're all in this together, and we can't wait to see what the future holds.

About Forum Ventures

Forum Ventures® is a leading early-stage Studio, Accelerator and fund for B2B SaaS startups based in New York, San Francisco, and Toronto. Founded in 2014, we’re on a mission to make the B2B SaaS journey easier, more accessible and successful for early-stage founders.

We are a team of B2B SaaS experts, operators, and founders with a passion for helping founders succeed on their journeys, especially those who are traditionally underrepresented. To date, we have made 400+ pre-seed and seed investments. Those companies have gone on to raise ~$1B in follow on funding

With a focus on early-stage (pre-seed to series A) B2B SaaS in any vertical, we typically invest in companies that sell to SMBs, Mid-Market, or Enterprise businesses with an MVP built out and a large market. 

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