About us

Celebrating entrepreneurship and economic empowerment is at our very core. We aim to redefine entrepreneurship beyond a few bros in Silicon Valley working on tech start-ups to include people that look like the rest of us.

Our community

The FounderTribes digital community provides founders with access to other founders and early-stage investors relevant to their sector and stage. The tribe includes founders, mentors, coaches, and venture capitalists, all committed to creating a global community for entrepreneurs who are overlooked and underestimated. They join us in our work to level the playing field while diversifying investor portfolios, boosting economic growth worldwide.

Our team is comprised of genuinely gifted minds

We have assembled a talented and diverse team and board. It is a team of entrepreneurs, teaching entrepreneurs, whilst working in an entrepreneurial and innovative start-up. We really live and breathe this stuff.

All our team members are deeply passionate about entrepreneurship, having either founded or led start-ups before. Our Tribe includes expert developers, serial entrepreneurs, ex-CEOs, COOs and even a shortlisted US vice-presidential candidate.


Gary Stewart

Gary is the former CEO of Wayra UK, where he built a portfolio of 185 start-ups worth $1.1bn and scaled Wayra UK to 7 cities. He’s also a former entrepreneurship professor at IE Business School and a Governor of the University of East London. Serial entrepreneur with a successful exit. Yale College and Yale Law School graduate, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa.
Head of Community

Mike Fauconnier-Bank

Mike is a startup specialist with 10+ years experience as a founder, adviser and early-stage investor. During this time he has helped launch multiple companies, led an incubation hub, mentored at accelerators, and been through the Antler and Startup Leadership programmes. Prior to that he worked at large corporates including Citigroup, Deloitte and IBM.
Underpinning everything he does is a drive to help exceptional teams and individuals reach their full potential. He heads up Community at FounderTribes, and is vehemently user-led in his approach.

Martynas Rimšelis

Martynas has over 10 years of experience as a developer, working as engineering consultant, lead engineer, team lead and guild lead in large corporations, venture-backed scale-ups, and start-ups such as FICO, Entando, TransferGo (raised more than $64M).
Head of Marketing

Wendy Maldonado D’Amico

Wendy Maldonado D’Amico brings expertise in marketing, communications, events, partnerships, and community building. Most recently, she produced #50WomenAtYale150, a groundbreaking virtual symposium commemorating the dual milestones of coeducation at Yale University. In addition to her corporate experience at SAP, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Merrill Lynch, she has consulted to various nonprofit organizations, and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Belize. She is a graduate of Yale College, Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, and MIT Sloan.
Buyun Zhao
Chief of Staff

Buyun Zhao

Buyun is an experienced C-level cross-functional leader with a successful track record of scaling Series A and B companies. Prior to his arrival at FounderTribes, he led international expansion at Culture Trip (>$130M funding) as General Manager. He scaled growth at LiveTree (>$13M funding) as COO. As a freelance consultant, he has helped high profile startups (ex-YC, ex-EF and ex-Antler) achieve more than £7M in funding and successfully implemented turnaround strategies for profitability. Buyun is a former neuroscientist and holds 4 degrees from the University of Cambridge.
Head of Customer Success

Hakeem Buge

Hakeem is a co-founder of ChargedUp (now part of theUpCo), he was Head of Sales and Operations and was responsible for building and scaling their portable charger rental network from 1 location to over 2,500 locations across 21 cities in the U.K. and Europe. During his time at the Upco he leveraged customer & partner feedback as well as user data to grow the services usage rate which helped in making the network profitable. Hakeem holds a degree in Engineering from the University of Exeter.
Head of New Business

Chris Petrie

Software Engineer

Maria Mavromataki

Maria has been working with web development since 2014 in different environments, from big consultancy companies to start-ups.
Graduating from the Department of Informatics and Computer Engineering in Greece, she has been involved in various frameworks and technologies, covering aspects of applications in both frontend and backend.

Kai Xu

Kai Xu is a first-year student at Yale University who is excited to get started in entrepreneurship. He is involved in computer science, music, and the intersection of these two fields. Some of his favorite activities include learning web development, producing music, and brainstorming algorithms. Prior to FounderTribes, he interned for MIT Professor Eran Egozy on his ConcertCue software for live concert program notes.

Geena Kim

Geena Kim is a sophomore at Harvard University from New York. Currently, she is pursuing a degree in computer science and chemistry. She is especially interested in web development and data analytics. In her free time, she enjoys creating data visualizations and tutoring high school students.

Evelyn Chen

Evelyn Chen is a first-year at Harvard College. She is an associate for Harvard Undergraduate Capital Partners, where she conducts due diligence for a major venture capital firm, and case team lead for Harvard Consulting on Business and the Environment, where she provides strategic consulting services for a global NGO. As a 2020 Coca Cola Scholar and woman of color, she is deeply passionate about social justice and its intersections with entrepreneurship. She previously co-founded the international nonprofit EduSTEM Initiative and hosts the podcast Asian Women Empower.

Leah Teichholtz

Leah Teichholtz is a first-year at Harvard. Originally from New York, she is interested in studying computer science and economics. Outside of being interested in entrepreneurship, she is a reporter at the Harvard Crimson, where she reports on the race and diversity beat. She also is a member of Harvard's Women in Computer Science club, where she is working on a project elevating the stories of underrepresented groups in STEM.