Meet the Team

Juvo Ventures brings together a team of leaders in education and venture capital that is uniquely positioned; has deep education-related operating, investing, and policy experience; and has a track record of success.

  • Our Members
  • Our Advisors
  • Nadeem Syed

    Nadeem Syed

    General Partner

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    Nadeem Syed

    Nadeem Syed

    General Partner

    Nadeem Syed is a General Partner and sits on the Investment Committee at Juvo Ventures. He also serves as the CFO of Western Governors University, the nation’s largest online, competency based University, since June 2021. In this role Nadeem leads all aspects of financial strategy and management at the nonprofit university system. Nadeem’s focus is on fostering learner-centered education models that deliver high-value education at low cost to the broadest population of learners, underpinned by sustainable economics and disruptive innovations that structurally lower cost of learning delivery.

    Prior to WGU, Nadeem spent 11 years with AT&T. During his tenure at AT&T Nadeem held diverse leadership positions across finance, pricing, analytics, and business development spanning telecom, media, and advertising sectors. Nadeem was head of consumer wireline finance and led product, corporate development, and strategy finance for Xandr – AT&T’s advertising company. Nadeem was also a founding member of AT&T Partner Exchange—a startup business within the company—and was instrumental in the launch of DirecTV Now streaming service. Prior to AT&T, Nadeem co-founded a medical imaging start-up in Singapore, led software R&D at Hewlett-Packard, and conducted machine learning research, publishing several peer-reviewed articles. 

    Nadeem grew up in India and obtained a B.S. in Computer Science from National University of Singapore as a recipient of Singapore Airlines Scholarship from the Government of Singapore. He later earned an M.S. in Computer Science and an MBA, both from Georgia Tech.  

    Outside of work Nadeem loves to spend time with his wife and three daughters and tries to stay current on the industry, business and technology trends.

  • Scott Pulsipher

    Scott Pulsipher

    General Partner

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    Scott Pulsipher

    Scott Pulsipher

    General Partner

    Scott Pulsipher is a General Partner and sits on the Investment Committee at Juvo Ventures. He also serves as President of Western Governors University, the nation’s premier nonprofit competency-based university. Since April 2016, Scott has led all academic, operational, and organizational functions. He cultivates a student-first environment by using technology and data to improve learning outcomes, graduation rates, employment, and overall student wellbeing.  
     
    Prior to joining WGU, Scott led several technology-based, customer-focused businesses, and two successful startups that traversed retail, supply chain, banking, payments, and manufacturing sectors.  

    He currently serves on multiple higher education and technology boards, including the following: Education Co-Chair for Committee for Economic Development, advisory board member of the Presidents Forum, member of the Executive Committee on the Taskforce on Higher Education and Opportunity, and board member of the American Council on Education.  

    Scott holds an MBA from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in Management from Brigham Young University.  

  • Sean K. Brown

    Sean K. Brown

    Managing Director

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    Sean K. Brown

    Sean K. Brown

    Managing Director

    Sean K. Brown is the Managing Director of Juvo Ventures. He has assisted in standing up Juvo’s inaugural fund, which has now invested in 21 portfolio companies (https://juvovc.com/portfolio/). 

    Sean oversees the management of the fund and reports directly to the General Partnership. 

    Sean has a J.D. from the J. Reuben Clark School of Law and is a licensed Utah attorney. He volunteers with the Utah Minority Bar Association, Lone Peak High School Football, as well as local youth groups.  Sean loves to support his kids in anything they are passionate about, and as a result has often found himself on different types of sports fields volunteering as a parent coach. 

  • Alex Geren

    Alex Geren

    Analyst

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    Alex Geren

    Alex Geren

    Analyst

    Alex Geren is an Analyst at Juvo Ventures. Prior to joining Juvo Ventures, Alex worked at Goldman Sachs as an Associate in the Corporate Treasury Division, focusing on liquidity forecasting. Before Goldman Sachs Alex completed various internships across the financial services industry. Alex graduated from the University of Utah and earned his Master of Science in Finance.

    Alex enjoys mountain biking, rock climbing and hiking in his free time.

  • Alex Hernandez

    Alex Hernandez

    Analyst

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    Alex Hernandez

    Alex Hernandez

    Analyst

    Alex Hernandez is an Analyst at Juvo Ventures focused on deal sourcing, portfolio assistance, and market research. 

    Alex graduated in 2021 from the University of Chicago where he majored in Economics. While there, he worked multiple internships spanning multiple industries—from government to trading to startups. And as the only undergrad co-founder within UChicago’s premier startup accelerator, Alex co-founded and sold an aerospace startup focused on increasing the communication capabilities between satellite operators.

    In his spare time, he is an avid chess enthusiast. 

  • Andrea Call

    Andrea Call

    Staff Attorney

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    Andrea Call

    Andrea Call

    Staff Attorney

    Andrea Call is a staff attorney for the General Partnership and its affiliate Juvo Venture Fund, LP. In her role providing legal support, Andrea focuses on performing legal diligence, drafting and negotiating investment documents, and providing counsel on corporate and securities law. Andrea formerly practiced as an associate attorney at Kunzler Bean & Adamson and Jones Waldo Holbrook & McDonough and has experience representing clients in commercial litigation and commercial real estate transactions.

    Andrea graduated summa cum laude from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University, where she was a senior editor of BYU Law Review. Immediately after law school, Andrea completed a two-year term as a law clerk to the Honorable Susan R. Bolton in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona.

    When Andrea is not managing legal matters, she enjoys reading, spending time with her family, and teaching her dog new tricks.

  • Benjamin Shaw

    Benjamin Shaw

    Controller

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    Benjamin Shaw

    Benjamin Shaw

    Controller

    Ben Shaw is the Controller for the General Partnership and its affiliate Juvo Venture Fund, LP.  He joined in 2019 after sixteen years in public accounting with both national and local firms. Ben’s experience includes financial reporting and accounting matters with public companies, not-for-profit organizations, software and technology companies (including SaaS), and other distribution and service companies. Ben’s role is to ensure accurate and timely monthly and year-end reporting of financial information, and he works closely with the fund’s third-party administrator, Cornerstone. 

    Ben graduated from Arizona State University with a master’s degree in Accountancy and Information Systems and a B.S. in Accounting. He has been a licensed CPA since 2004 and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. 

  • Camille Elsbecker

    Camille Elsbecker

    Administrative Assistant

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    Camille Elsbecker

    Camille Elsbecker

    Administrative Assistant

    Camille Elsbecker is the Administrative Assistant for Juvo Ventures. She brings with her fourteen-plus years of experience as an administrative assistant. A caretaker by nature, Camille has a passion for this role. She likes to say she “doesn’t want to be the star but wants to make sure the star looks good.”

    Camille previously served as an administrative associate at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and business manager at Texas Tech University. 

    In her time away from the office, she enjoys being outside as much as possible, spending time with friends and her grown sons, and watching sports, especially college football.

  • Christina Ross

    Christina Ross

    Lead Communications Representative

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    Christina Ross

    Christina Ross

    Lead Communications Representative

    Christina Ross is a Lead Communications Representative for the General Partnership and its affiliate Juvo Venture Fund, LP. She is working to build awareness of Juvo’s mission and portfolio companies.

    Prior to joining Juvo, she was the director of communications at the Clayton Christensen Institute, a nonprofit think tank that researches innovations that expand access in education, healthcare, and global development. 

    Christina has an MPA from the University of Southern California and a B.A. in Global Studies from University of California, Santa Barbara. She enjoys studying languages, spending time in nature, and traveling. 

  • Crystal McFarland

    Crystal McFarland

    Director of People & Talent

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    Crystal McFarland

    Crystal McFarland

    Director of People & Talent

    Crystal McFarland is the Director of People & Talent (HR) for the General Partnership and its affiliate Juvo Venture Fund, LP. Her team supports the complete employee life cycle, including talent attraction, recruitment, onboarding, development, and retention.    

    Crystal started her career in over eighteen years ago as a talent acquisition partner for Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City, Utah. Crystal has held various leadership and HR roles in dental products manufacturing, healthcare, and higher education. 

    Crystal loves to travel. She has a deep passion for learning and mentoring others and volunteers her time to those in need.

  • Curt DeFriez

    Curt DeFriez

    Vice President of Accounting & Financial Operations

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    Curt DeFriez

    Curt DeFriez

    Vice President of Accounting & Financial Operations

    Curt DeFriez is the Vice President of Accounting and Financial Operations for the General Partnership and its affiliate Juvo Venture Fund, LP. His team supports general accounting, cash management, and payroll services.

    Curt started his career over thirty years ago as a CPA for Price Waterhouse and has held a variety of senior financial leadership roles for both public and private companies. These institutions spanned a range of industries including manufacturing, hardware and software technology, medical publishing, nuclear waste disposal, and higher education.

    Curt enjoys traveling, hiking, birdwatching, and sailing.

  • Khris Jensen

    Khris Jensen

    Director of Finance

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    Khris Jensen

    Khris Jensen

    Director of Finance

    Khris Jensen is the Director of Finance for the General Partnership and its affiliate Juvo Venture Fund, LP. Khris and his team manage financial reporting, budgeting, forecasting, and other FP&A responsibilities.

    After graduating with his MBA, Khris worked in finance and accounting roles in the retail and marketing industries and also provided CFO and controller consulting services.

    Khris is a Certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt. He is passionate about working within set boundaries even when provided limited resources to accomplish the mission of the operation.

  • Paul Zinn

    Paul Zinn

    Business Information Security Partner

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    Paul Zinn

    Paul Zinn

    Business Information Security Partner

    Paul Zinn is the Business Information Security Partner for the General Partnership and its affiliate Juvo Venture Fund, LP. His team supports information and cybersecurity.

    Paul has worked in the information technology industry over twenty-five years. For the last ten years, he has focused on the information security space across industries ranging from telecommunications to insurance to education.

    Paul enjoys skiing, hiking, camping—basically, any mountain or forest activity.

  • Blake Modersitski

    Blake Modersitski

    Managing Partner, Pelion VP

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    Blake Modersitski

    Blake Modersitski

    Managing Partner, Pelion VP

    Blake Modersitski joined Pelion as the Managing Partner in 2002, and has led the firm through 4 successful funds. Blake is focused on backing entrepreneurs building unique and disruptive technology. Blake has led investments in Redhat, Riverbed, Fusion.io, Integral Ad Science, DOMO, enCommerce, Soasta, and Metacloud.

    Prior to joining Pelion, Blake was Managing Director for Novell Ventures and VP of Strategic Business Development. He directed Novell’s venture strategy including both its direct investments in companies and indirect investments in venture capital funds. During this time, he served on the boards of several public and private companies as well as the advisory boards of several venture capital firms.

    Prior to managing Novell’s venture capital organization, Blake held a number of sales, marketing, product management, global channel sales development and business development positions within Novell and Word Perfect. Blake has a B.A. in Economics from Brigham Young University.

  • Jessie Woolley-Wilson

    Jessie Woolley-Wilson

    President & CEO of DreamBox Learning

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    Jessie Woolley-Wilson

    Jessie Woolley-Wilson

    President & CEO of DreamBox Learning

    Jessie Woolley-Wilson is President and CEO of DreamBox Learning. Prior to joining DreamBox, Jessie held executive positions at multiple leading EdTech companies, including Blackboard, LeapFrog, and Kaplan.

    Jessie is a two-time recipient of EdTech Digest’s “EdTech Leadership Award” for her work in transformative innovation in education, and she has been named a “Top 100 Influencers in EdTech.” Forbes placed her on its “Impact 15” list for being a disruptor in education, and The New York Times featured Jessie in its Corner Officecolumn.

    Regionally, Jessie has received many accolades, including Seattle Business Magazine’s Executive Excellence Award in the “CEO of the Year” category, GeekWire’s “Big Tech CEO of the Year” award, Puget Sound Business Journal’s “Women of Influence” and “Innovator of the Year” awards, and the Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur Of The Year®” award in the Pacific Northwest region.

    She serves on several boards, including Rosetta Stone and the Western Governors University Board of Trustees. She has been a featured speaker at many events, including TEDx Rainier, SXSWedu, DENT, GeekWire Summit, and the ASU GSV Summit.

    Jessie holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a B.A. from the University of Virginia.

  • Joseph Fuller

    Joseph Fuller

    Professor, Harvard Business School

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    Joseph Fuller

    Joseph Fuller

    Professor, Harvard Business School

    Joseph Fuller is a Professor of Management Practice in General Management and co-leads the school’s initiative, Managing the Future of Work. He currently teaches the General Management Processes and Action course in the second year of the MBA program and formerly headed The Entrepreneurial Manager course in the program’s first year. A 1981 graduate of the school, Joe was a founder and first employee of the global consulting firm, Monitor Group, now Monitor-Deloitte. He served as the Chief Executive Officer of its commercial consulting operations until 2006 and remained a Senior Advisor to the firm until its acquisition by Deloitte in 2012.

    During his three decades in consulting, Joseph worked with senior executives and policymakers on a wide variety of issues related to corporate strategy and national competitiveness. He has particularly deep experience in industries with a heavy reliance on technology, such as life sciences, ICT and the defense and aerospace industries. He is currently researching the evolution of the role of the CEOs and the C-suite in public companies.

  • Ziggy Liaqat

    Ziggy Liaqat

    Founder & CEO Lucidity LLC ​

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    Ziggy Liaqat

    Ziggy Liaqat

    Founder & CEO Lucidity LLC ​

    Ziggy Liaqat is an executive with 20+ years of experience, and a proven track record of creating world class teams, driving change, and supercharging performance across across global organizations. Recent corporate experiences include, Managing Director of Edexcel, COO for Pearson North America and Global COO for Pearson.

    In February 2019, Ziggy founded Lucidity LLC. Lucidity has a coaching practice where the focus is on talent development, executive coaching, organizational effectiveness and leadership development for leaders of start-ups to executives in Fortune 500 companies. The start-up practice uses his executive and coaching experience to help leaders of start-ups to super-charge the growth of their business through advising on strategy, go to market and operational excellence. He is also a firm believer that founders should understand why leadership style, purpose and culture are the fabric upon which a thriving business is built.

    Ziggy is also an angel investor and sits on the board of a number of start-ups and a VC while he is also Chair of the advisory board at PIE. Most recently he helped set up the Education practice at Ridge-Lane partners, a DC based advisory firm. He is passionate about helping brilliant people do impactful work that has a positive effect in the world.

    He has an MBA from the University of Westminster and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Leadership program.