We've been set up to fail.
We’re the first generation that is projected to do worse than our parents financially. We graduate from college with thousands of dollars of debt. We rent an apartment that requires an arm and a leg in upfront costs. We try to start a family without the savings or knowledge to keep them healthy. We think about buying a home, but realize it's completely out of reach. And just like that, you realize the system has set you up to fail. Basically, we’re stuck in financial purgatory.
We’re a team of entrepreneurs, activists, and
creators dedicated to building a better future
for our generation. We believe life should be
simple and affordable. And we’re on a mission
to get it there through this studio.
Ankur is the Co-Founder & Co-CEO of Kairos, which he launched in 2008 as a talent incubator. Before rejoining Kairos in May 2017, Jain was the VP of Product at Tinder, the world’s largest social network for meeting people. He joined Tinder after it acquired his previous company, Humin, where he served as Founder & CEO. Over the years, Jain has been recognized for a variety of achievements including the Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum (2017).
Previously, he was named a Leader del Futuro by the Ambrosetti Forum and as a Young Leader by both the World Foresight Forum and the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. In 2011, Inc. magazine named Ankur Jain the “Best Connected 21-Year-Old in the World” and awarded Jain “30 Under 30.” In 2012, Jain was named “30 under 30: Solution Broker” by the Christian Science Monitor.
In 2013, Jain was elected to the Innovation Board for the X-Prize Foundation and in 2015, Forbes named Jain to their “30 under 30” list. Ankur graduated from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in 2011 and grew up in Seattle.
Alex is the Co-Founder & Co-CEO of Kairos. He has been leading Kairos since 2013, building out the K50 program and leading the company from its roots as a student-run organization into its current focus on building a family of brands designed to make life more affordable.
Prior to Kairos Alex worked at Activision helping launch record-breaking IP including Call of Duty and Skylanders.
Alex graduated from University of Southern California in 2010 and grew up in Los Angeles.
Zoe is the Chief Marketing Officer at Kairos. She leads brand and marketing strategy as well as new product development. She previously developed & led the Kairos Fellowship, a community of the brightest young entrepreneurs around the world.
Prior to joining Kairos, Zoe held positions in various medical research labs, including the cardiovascular division at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, where she conducted analyses on the effects of sleep deprivation on young medical professionals. She then went on to work in fashion design & brand development at companies like Theory and Helmut lang. She graduated from Harvard University with High Honors, where she studied medicine and art.
Andrew Wang is the independent Chair of Kairos’ Investment Committee. He is also the Co-Founder & CEO of Valon, the leading FinTech mortgage servicer. Prior to Valon, Andrew was a Principal at Soros Fund Management, focusing on the intersection of private credit and venture capital. Andrew began his career at Goldman Sachs in the aviation finance group. He graduated from Harvard University with a BA and MA in Computer Science
Dan serves on Kairos’s Investment Committee as an Investing Partner. He also serves as COO of Bilt.
Dan joined Kairos from Stone Point Capital, where he served as a VP investing across private equity, venture capital and real estate. He specialized in financial services and real estate investments. Dan began his career at Goldman Sachs in the Financial Institutions group.
He graduated from Brown University with a BA in Economics and History.
Michael was previously a Principal at The Social Entrepreneurs’ Fund (TSEF), an early stage venture capital firm that invests in software and services that support everyday Americans and the organizations that serve them. Prior to TSEF, Michael was a Consultant at Altman Vilandrie & Company, a boutique strategy consultancy serving the technology, media, and telecommunications sectors, where he focused on due diligence of technology and telecom assets. Michael holds a B.S. from Brown University where he studied electrical engineering.
Sarah was previously Chief of Staff at Andela – a Series D stage Africa-focused software engineering platform based in New York.
Prior to joining Andela, Sarah was Head of North American Strategic Engagement at the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) since March 2016, based in New York. In this role, she works with pre IPO companies to prepare them for public listings. She also drove LSEG’s strategic growth in the region. Sarah regularly spoke publicly on capital markets issues. In June 2019, she was also appointed Chair of the UK Department of International Trade’s Working Group on US/UK Capital Markets.
Sarah previously served as the LSEG’s Head of International Government Relations. She worked on initiatives including the launch of the UK-China Stock Connect programme – the first ever program enabling western companies to be traded in China and vice versa. She also partnered with the UK Government to grow domestic capital markets in key African countries, and lead government relations on LSEG’s M&A transactions.
Between 2008 and 2010, Sarah worked for the UK Conservative Party as Head of Briefing for the Rt Hon David Cameron MP as Leader of the Opposition, then as Prime Minister. Between 2007 and 2008, Sarah was a Senior Researcher to the Rt Hon Theresa May MP. She has also worked as a Parliamentary Select Committee reporter, and for Independent Diplomat – a foreign policy focused NGO.
Sarah holds a first class degree in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester, and a Masters degree from King’s College London. In 2016, she was named as one of Management Today’s 35 Under 35 businesswomen, and was also shortlisted for the UK’s Women of the Future Awards. She is an Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society.
Ciara O’Sullivan is Head of People Operations at Kairos. She’s responsible for all things employee experience & company culture, including hiring, office management, events, and onboarding processes across the Kairos family. Prior to Kairos, Ciara worked at Grovo Learning, a micro-learning company that was later acquired by Cornerstone OnDemand. While at Grovo, she was responsible for office management, employee experience, and corporate event planning. She was a critical member of the acquisition team, executing on various due diligence tasks leading up to deal execution, and later joined the Cornerstone OnDemand team to oversee the integration of Grovo employees as well as the employee experience of remote employees throughout the US. Ciara graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in English Education.
Cyrus is a Content Manager at Kairos, leading the strategy and execution of editorial and social media content. Having started his career in marketing and branding at early stage startups, and later honing his obsession with great content in the media space for brands like Domino, and GQ, helping Kairos develop its voice is a natural intersection of passions. Cyrus holds a BA in Art and Communication Studies from Davidson College. He grew up in Aurora, Colorado, and now lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Brooke
Lauren Doyle is the Head of Communications for Kairos HQ and Bilt. Prior to joining Kairos in February 2021, Lauren spent over a decade representing the top media brands in the country at publishers including Meredith Corporation, Rodale, and most recently at Hearst Magazines as Director of PR and Strategic Partnerships.
Annaka West was previously a Controller at Aduro Advisor where she supported many leading Seed VC funds across all fund administration matters. Prior to that, she managed accounting for $850M assets under management at Bertram Capital.
Ricky Pinela is a content producer at Kairos. He hosts and produces Kairos' first TikTok show, "Bop or Flop," where he interviews people on the streets of New York City and beyond.
Prior to Kairos, Ricky worked in social media management for a variety of outlets including The New Yorker, Brut, and The Orlando Sentinel. He grew up in East Orlando, Florida and now resides in Brooklyn.
Angela started her career working in food-related television production, where she was involved in creative planning and execution. She decided to follow her passion into the world of organic food, founding a company that performed field marketing activities and grassroots activations for dozens of industry-leading brands. During this time, she managed a team of more than a hundred people in several regions across the country and gained valuable hands-on experience on the front lines of the food business.
Through this experience, Angela identified an opportunity to reinvent the baby food category, and soon began working on a solution. This solution would become Little Spoon, the first company to deliver fresh, nutritionally optimized baby food via a direct-to-consumer model.
As co-founder and Chief Product Officer, Angela directs branding and creative and meticulously oversees every consumer-facing touchpoint, ranging from physical product to digital experience. An avid chef and boutique fitness junkie, Angela is passionate about health, wellness, design and the future of food. Angela grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and received her BS in Marketing from St. Joseph’s University. She lives in New York City.
Anne Fulenwider is the co-founder of a women’s health company incubated by Kairos, where she also serves as an operating partner. From 2012-2019, she was the Editor-in-Chief of Marie Claire, where she oversaw all content for the brand in the United States. She also appeared as a frequent judge on the Emmy-winning TV show Project Runway and the mentor on Project Runway All Stars. Fulenwider launched her journalism career at The Paris Review, spent a decade at Vanity Fair, and has served as a judge of the Pulitzer Prizes. In 2017 Fulenwider was named to the New York State Council on Women and Girls by Governor Andrew Cuomo, and is an advisor to the UN Foundation’s Girl Up. Fulenwider graduated from Harvard University in 1995. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.
Ben is the COO and Co-Founder of Rhino, a company that enables consumers to rent deposit free. Prior to starting Rhino, Ben oversaw acquisitions, development and management for a private multifamily development business. Previously, Ben worked at Goldman Sachs raising capital, structuring debt, and repositioning consumer and real estate assets while executing over $10bn of related transactions. Ben received his S.B. in Mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2007 and lives in Los Angeles.
Ben Lewis is co-founder and CEO of Little Spoon. A serial entrepreneur, Ben’s experience lies at the intersection of brands, technology and food. He has worked extensively in the organic food industry, honing a well-rounded understanding of consumer facing brands and what it takes to build them. Prior to Little Spoon, Ben built a national distribution company that acted as an incubator to up-and-coming food and beverage brands. In several years, Ben grew the company to more than $25mm in revenue, building a nimble just-in-time perishable supply chain spanning 8 regions. Through this, Ben scaled the operations of dozens of emerging brands to a national footprint and helped to pioneer trends like cold-pressed juice and cold-brew coffee, taking them from obscure, emerging concepts to household buzzwords. Ben also co-founded and later sold The Epic Seed, a Greek yogurt brand with a national footprint and a cult-like following. Ben attended the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania.
Mahiben (Ben) Maruthappu is a British physician, academic researcher, health policy specialist and entrepreneur. He is the co-founder of Cera, a tech-enabled homecare company, and was the first president of the United Kingdom Medical Students’ Association (UKMSA). He co-founded the National Health Service (NHS) Innovation Accelerator (NIA), a program that supports and accelerates the adoption of new healthcare treatments and technologies, and served as NHS England’s Innovation Adviser to the CEO on their $100 billion of annual health spending. He has published more than 100 research papers in peer-reviewed journals. Maruthappu led the 2016 study that linked the global economic crisis to 260,000 additional cancer deaths in a group of developed countries while demonstrating the protective effect of universal health coverage. The study, published in The Lancet, was ranked as one of the most influential research papers of 2016.
In November 2018, Maruthappu was named on the Financial Times’ list of the ‘Top 100 minority ethnic leaders in technology.
Bryan Woods is the Co-Founder & CTO of Rhino. Prior to starting Rhino, Bryan spent 14 years building and scaling software products and engineering teams. He previously held Lead Software Engineer roles at PS Dept., HowAboutWe, Drop.io, & Samsung Electronics.
Lisa Barnett is the Co-Founder & President of Little Spoon, the fastest growing direct-to-consumer children’s food and nutrition company reinventing the modern parent’s experience of keeping their child healthy. She has been recognized as one of the ‘Women Changing the Food Industry’ by Well + Good, by Marie Claire as an ‘Power Woman of 2019, and by Forbes as 30 Under 30 in Venture Capital.
Prior to Little Spoon, Lisa spent nearly a decade as an investor in and operator at some of the world’s top consumer brands including Estee Lauder Companies, Calvin Klein, Weight Watchers and a number of other Fortune 500 Companies. As an investor, she was focused on investing in brand-driven startups aimed at transforming the everyday life of consumers in the wellness, health and CPG space. Lisa attended the Wharton School for her MBA and the University of Pennsylvania for her undergraduate studies. She holds a Bachelors of Arts with Honors in Communication and Marketing, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa and with the Top Ivy League Scholar-Athlete Accolades as a member of the Varsity Cross Country and Track teams for 12 seasons.
Michelle Muller is Co-founder & Chief Experience Officer at Little Spoon, the modern parent’s go-to brand for keeping their child healthy. Prior to starting Little Spoon, Michelle found inspiration in the health & wellness world, studying at the IIN where she is a certified health coach. She then became a business associate at the Ian Schrager Company. When her first of three boys was born, there was no question that he would have the best baby food available and that happened to be straight from Michelle’s kitchen. Two children and thousands of hours of cooking and pureeing later, she left her corporate job in real estate to launch Little Spoon.
Michelle is often invited to speak across the US, join podcasts and further the conversation around women-led startups. Michelle graduated from The University of Texas with a BS in Communication and Government as well as a Business Foundation from The McCombs School of Business.
Monica Molenaar is an entrepreneur, currently co-founder of a women’s health company incubated by the Kairos, where she is also an operating partner. Previously, Molenaar founded the cult specialty foods brand Seed + Mill, introducing gourmet halva and tahini to the United States and tapping into the viral trend toward plant-based and gluten-free eating. Prior to graduating from Stanford Business School, Molenaar worked in management consulting and commercial real estate. (While at Tishman Speyer Properties, she participated in the redevelopment of Rockefeller Center and the sale of the Chrysler Building.) After receiving her MBA, she became a Director of Marketing at Knoll Furniture. At the age of 40, Monica tested positive for the BRCA gene and elected to remove her ovaries prophylactically, which sent her into early menopause overnight. She quickly realized there was a need for simple, trusted solutions to this largely ignored phase of a woman’s life, and the idea for her new company was born. She graduated from Brown in 1996 and currently lives in Manhattan with her husband and two sons
Paraag Sarva is the CEO and Co-founder of Rhino, a startup devoted to building products and services that give renters a more affordable way to live in the homes they want. Rhino replaces cash security deposits with low-cost, affordable insurance. Previously, Paraag led a real estate company, managing and developing over $100 million in assets. He also served as City Hall Policy Advisor and aide in the administration of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in New York City. Paraag began his career in investment banking at Goldman Sachs after completing bachelors and masters degrees in economics at New York University.
We work with a team of badass experts from
healthcare to government to media.
Bobbi Brown is an American professional makeup artist, bestselling author, public speaker, entrepreneur, and the founder of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics. As a professional makeup artist, Brown created 10 simple lipsticks that evolved into a global beauty empire. Brown has written nine books about beauty and wellness and is a New York Times bestselling author. Since leaving her billion-dollar company Bobbi Brown Cosmetics in October 2016, she has launched Beauty Evolution, LLC and was certified as a health coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.
Brown’s latest endeavor is EVOLUTION_18, a line of beauty-inspired wellness products. Brown also curates the editorial website JustBOBBI.com. In addition, she and her husband Steven Plofker reimagined The George, a 32-room design-inspired boutique hotel located in Montclair, New Jersey. She is from Chicago, Illinois.
David Carey is the President of Hearst Magazines. As one of the world’s largest publishers of monthly magazines, with more than 10,000 employees worldwide, Heart Magazines has more than 300 editions globally. During his time at Hearst, Carey has overseen the acquisition of more than 100 magazines in 14 countries. Prior to joining Hearst, Carey was group president at Condé Nast and Vice President and publisher of The New Yorker from 1993 to 2005.
Among other honors, David was named industry “Publisher of the Year” by Adweek in 2005 and 2011 and rexeived the Hall of Achievement award from the American Advertising Federation. In 2010, Media Industry Newsletter inducted him into its Hall of Fame.
David graduated from UCLA.
Mehmet is a Turkish-American cardiothoracic surgeon, Columbia University professor, author, and host of the
Mehmet began his television career with appearances on the Oprah Winfrey Show beginning in 2014. In 2010, he co-founded Sharecare Inc. with Jeff Arnold, an online healthcare platform. He has co-authored six New York Times best sellers, was ranked on Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” in 2008, named one of the “75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century” by Esquire magazine. He has been a professor at the Department of Surgery at Columbia University since 2001.
Mehmet studied biology at Harvard University. He obtained MD and MBA degrees from the University of Pennsylvania in 1986. Mehmet grew up in Wilmington, Delaware.
Mark Thompson is a British media executive who is the former President and Chief Execute Officer of The New York Times Company. From 2004 to 2012, he served as Director-General of the BBC, and before that was the Chief Executive of Channel 4. In 2009 Thompson was ranked as the 65th most powerful person in the world by Forbes magazine.
Marta Fox served as the First Lady of Mexico from 2001 to 2006. She was born in Zamora, Michoacan.
Roger is the current Commissioner of the National Football League. He began his NFL career in 1982 as an administrative intern in the league office in New York. He was appointed assistant to the President of the American Football Conference, Lamar Hunt, and later went on to secure the position of the NFL’s COO in 2001. During this time, he headed NFL Ventures, which oversees the league’s business units, media properties, and strategic planning.
In 2014, Roger was awarded the Outstanding Civilian Service Award for his substantial contributions to the US Army community while serving as the NFL Commissioner.
Roger graduated from Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania where he studied Economics. He grew up in Jamestown, New York.
Ronan Dunne is the President of Verizon Wireless, an American telecommunications company with over 150 million subscribers. He was formerly Chief Execute Officer of the Biritsh wireless carrier O2 until 2016. He was born in Dublin, Ireland.
Vicente Fox served as a the 62nd President of Mexico from December 1, 2000 to November 30th, 2006. Fox previously served as the President and Chief Executive of Coca-Cola Mexico, where he oversaw the growth of Coca-Cola’s sales by almost 50% in Mexico. He was born in Mexico City.
Omar Sultan Al Olama is the Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence in the United Arab Emirates. He was appointed in October 2017 by the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Rule of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The UAE was the first country to hire a minister for artificial intelligence. He previously served as Deputy Head of Minister’s Office at the UAE’s Prime Minister’s Office. Since 2016, Al Olama has been the Managing Director of the World Government Summit. Al Olama was born in Dubai