Isaac is the CEO of Launch Alaska and the fund manager for Launch Alaska Fund II — a $3m fund that invests directly in the accelerators' cohort companies. Isaac has worked with hundreds of early stage companies and entrepreneurs responding to Alaska’s food, water, transportation and energy challenges. Isaac's previous roles include State Director at the Alaska Small Business Development Center and Operations Director for Chispa Group (now Afina Holdings) an import-export firm in Philadelphia that specializes in trade between the Delaware Valley and Chile. He completed the Energy Executive Leadership Program at the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) in Golden, CO in 2016, as well the Energy Innovation and Emerging Technologies program at Stanford. Vanderburg sits on the Board of Commonwealth North, and leads the Energy & Energy Efficiency subcommittee and the Carbon Pricing subcommittee of Alaska's Climate Action Leadership Team. He played four years of NCAA Division I soccer and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in El Salvador ('02).
OPERATIONS & OUTREACH DIRECTOR
Frances is the Operations & Outreach Director at Launch Alaska, where she works to build the energy innovation ecosystem in Alaska by deepening our relationships with stakeholders. She facilitates innovation sprints and stakeholder workshops, seeks out high quality startups for our program, and collects and analyzes performance data. Frances previously worked at Google, where she helped design their new headquarters in California with an eye to innovation and efficiency. She also led the company’s effort to improve the way water is consumed and recycled in buildings throughout the Bay Area. She holds a B.S. in Atmosphere and Energy Engineering from Stanford University, and is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional. Frances spends her free time volunteering with local farms, and exploring the beautiful outdoors: skiing, hiking, and road tripping across the state to catch the best live music shows.
Pamela Kauveiyakul is the Pipeline Director at Launch Alaska. She is passionate about entrepreneurial success and works with founders and partner organizations to find product-market fit and build the alumni program. Pam has an MBA from Loyola University New Orleans and is skilled in ecosystem building, business development, project management, and process improvement. She spends her free time woodworking and exploring Alaska in most human-powered modes: biking, hiking, and skiing.
Tim comes from the brand strategy and development world, bringing expertise in branding, storytelling, and innovation communication to the team. He is a board member, story coach and host for Arctic Entries, Anchorage’s popular monthly storytelling show. He also owns Axe & Antlers, a branding studio working to help humans build brands that matter. He is passionate about people and the planet, and the harmonious preservation of both.
Katherine Jernstrom has successfully built two companies and supported the growth of dozens more through mentorship, board leadership, advisement, and funding. Katherine grew up internationally, has a BA from the University of Washington, an MPA from the University of Alaska Anchorage and is a graduate of Leadership Anchorage, a Pew Charitable Trusts program. She assists with managing Launch Alaska Fund II and leads the organization’s corporate and investor outreach. Katherine sits on the boards of the Spirit of Youth, the Anchorage Downtown Partnership, the AEDC Live. Work. Play Steering Committee, and is an active Rotarian. At age 30, Katherine was named Top 40 Under 40 by the state-wide Alaska Journal of Commerce.
Ben Kellie is co-founder and CEO of K2 Dronotics, a UAV service and engineering company committed to making working in remote parts of the state safer and easier through increased access and better data. He is also CEO of The Launch Company, which provides launch site expertise, design services, and hardware to New Space rocket companies working on the next generation of space vehicles. Previously, he worked as a Lead Engineer at SpaceX helping build and operate the launch site at Vandenberg Air Force Base, before moving on to lead the field development of the autonomous drone ship landing barges Just Read the Instructions and Of Course I Still Love You.
Ky is a professor of business administration, a seed fund manager, and an engineer. As Director, Mentor and Investor, Ky wears many hats, and also keeps the Alaska startup community informed through the Alaska Startup Digest.
Mary is a co-founder of Atikus, a social enterprise that expands access to capital for micro, small and medium enterprises through institutionally-targeted solutions rooted in technology, data and insurance. Prior to starting Atikus, Mary worked with CRAN Microfinance, a Kiva affiliate, in Cape Coast, Ghana, where she performed analytical research on CRAN's financial education program. Mary graduated from DePaul University with a MS in Public Service Management.
Gretchen is a marketing-minded economic developer fueled by a passion for entrepreneurship, innovation, and small business. She is the associate director for the University of Alaska Center for Economic Development and a Gallup-certified CliftonStrengths Coach. Gretchen has worked on a number of award-winning economic development projects and leads research projects focused on entrepreneurs.
Eric is an entrepreneur and angel investor, who in 1983 founded Arctic Wire and Rope, Alaska's oldest and largest supplier of wire rope and rigging used in heavy lifts. He invests in early stage clean technology and third world social enterprises. He is a guarantor and board member of MCE Social Capital. He is focused on leveraging market solutions to address poverty and global warming. Eric served as the lead Mentor for the first cohort of Launch Alaska teams during the summer of 2016.