Isaac Vanderburg

Managing Director


Isaac leads Launch Alaska and is the fund manager for Launch Alaska Fund II - a $3m fund that invests directly in the accelerators' cohort companies. Isaac previously served as Executive Director of the Alaska Small Business Development Center (SBDC), where he worked with hundreds of early stage companies, and pushed the organization to support entrepreneurs responding to Alaska’s energy challenges. Before joining the SBDC Isaac was part of the founding team of 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 played four years of NCAA Division I soccer and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in El Salvador ('02). 

Alyse Daunis

Program Manager

Alyse Daunis is Program Manager at Launch Alaska, where she works with startups to rapidly iterate, find product-market fit, and connect to other founders, mentors and partners. She is a skilled ecosystem builder, organizing and acting as a mentor for startup weekends, hackathons, innovation sprints and other entrepreneurial development events in the state. Alyse has co-founded a startup and lead a team of 8 in distributing clean energy products in Uganda (1,100 cookstoves and 500+ solar lamps sold in initial 3 month pilot), helped run a university accelerator program, and worked with Factor(e) Ventures to identify energy solutions for micro-entrepreneurs in East Africa (download the report here). Alyse has an MBA in Global, Social, and Sustainable Enterprise from Colorado State University and has a certificate in Human Centered Design from IDEO. She spends her free time enjoying all that Alaska's wilderness has to offer: hiking up steep mountains, packrafting, rock climbing, and so much more!

Frances Ball

operations & outreach Manager

Frances is the Operations and Outreach Manager 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.  


Ky Holland

Board Member

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.

Andre Horton

Board Member

Andre is a business development strategist and entrepreneur. He lives in that space between the back office and  the vastly exposed public interface. Born and raised in Alaska, Andre took to the slopes and traveled the world ski-racing before retiring from athletics in 2004. A natural brand/product/idea evangelist, Andre has started  several companies across a variety of market segments in Alaska. He holds an MBA and is a professional photographer. In addition to sitting on the Alaska Board of Accountancy, he serves on the board of LoveAlaska.

Katherine Jernstrom

Board Member

Katherine Jernstrom is the CEO and cofounder of The Boardroom, a coworking space and entrepreneur hub in Anchorage. She is also managing partner at Alyeska Venture Management, a firm focused on building, funding, and supporting local startups. Katherine grew up internationally, she 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 serves on the board of directors for the United Way of Anchorage, Spirit of Youth, Anchorage Downtown Partnership, the AEDC Live. Work. Play Steering Committee, and is an active Rotarian. 

Mary Miner

Board Member

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 Fauske

Board Member

Gretchen works in the field of economic development at the State of Alaska, Department of Community, Commerce and Economic Development and writes about our city at www.GretchenLovesAnchorace.com.