Beyond the (amazing) tech with #Fiterator3

by Lisa Schwab | Nov 30, 2018 12:00:00 AM | Fiterator |

One of the best parts of working for UpRamp Fiterator is engaging with the coolest, most cutting-edge technology in the world on a daily basis. The startups that we work with are changing how the world interacts, and we're overjoyed to be part of the impact they're creating.

Even more rewarding, though, is spending time with the incredible teams building this technology. When we vet applicants to the Fiterator, one of the key things we look at is the founding team, their dynamics, and their ability to lead. Behind every brilliant piece of technology are the brains that made it happen, and the team can make or break a company's success. We love learning about all of the quirks and idiosyncrasies of the humans we work with each year.  

Here's why we appreciate the teams of #Fiterator3:

Averon CTO Mark 'Hershey' Herschberg has over 400 pairs of cufflinks


This isn't Averon's first rodeo: CEO Wendell Brown, Chief Data Scientist Mark Klein, and CCO Taro Gold have co-founded nearly a half-dozen companies together, with successful exits including an acquisition by AOL. Individually, their CVs are equally impressive - and so is their passion for adventure!

  • All together, the team has 4 Harvard MBAs and 2 degrees from MIT.
  • Wendell Brown is a licensed private pilot and developed the Beauty and the Beast video game for Intellivision/Mattel when he was a wee 17 years old. 
  • CPO Tom Green has 2,000 skydiving jumps under his belt and has attended Burning Man 4 times.
  • Mark Klein is currently on a solo motorcycle trip from Boulder to the tip of South America!
  • Finance & Ops Director Aaron Mahone dreamed of being an Olympic gymnast. His second-grade teacher was the aunt of his favorite gymnast, so he asked for an autograph every day until he got one. We love persistence!
  • CTO Mark 'Hershey' Herschberg owns over 400 pairs of cufflinks - and wears them according to the Days of the Year calendar! So much fun checking out his collection daily - see a glimpse above. 

Blitzz CEO Rama Sreenivasan has a USPA B skydiving license


Originally developed as a solution for veterinarians, Blitzz was founded by a published and patented scientist with experience at MIT and billion-dollar enterprises, alongside an award-winning Google and Intel engineer. As a team, they're very entrepreneurial and complete adrenaline junkies!

  • Not only is CEO Rama Sreenivasan a PADI-certified scuba diver, he also has a USPA B skydiving license AND has backpacked for a cumulative 32 months through 55 countries. Whew!
  • When CTO Keyur Patel was a kid, the electric sit/stand desk he wanted was too expensive. So he made his own out of a manual adjustable desk and an old motor from a car power window - and then he logged and graphed the number of hours he had spent in both positions.
  • CCO Marc Della Torre is a licensed scuba instructor. He also converted his wife into an adventure lover through diving, biking, and skiing.

Globally-dispersed Mutable finds a home base on Long Island, where siblings Pelle and Raquel grew up!


Last, but certainly not least, Mutable is how we will finally get that technology we keep hearing about at scale. Their very cosmopolitan founding team, full of entrepreneurial genius, is globally dispersed - they reside in Amsterdam, Stockholm, Paris, and New York.

  • Founder/CEO Antonio 'Pelle' Pellegrino grew up running programming boot camps in the back room of his parents' catering business.
  • Head of Product Vache Asatryan was actually one of Mutable's first customers - he was asked to join the team because of the invaluable feedback he provided as a client.
  • Head of Partnerships & Sales Raquel Pellegrino loves a challenge - which is precisely what she faced in Germany, when she took a full course load in German after only four months of studying the language. She's also Pelle's sister - they grew up working together in their parents' catering business on Long Island!
  • CTO Edef took a unique path: after dropping out of school at 15, she started working at Nodejitsu, where she built the customer management processes and automation around solving customer issues.

Even though #Fiterator3 comes to a close this week, we are grateful to be extending our family with such brilliantly interesting humans. Of course, we knew when they joined us just how incredible their technology was, but in the past three months, we've had the pleasure of finding out how kind-hearted, adventurous, and determined they all are - SCORE!