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Galvanize Ventures


Galvanize Ventures

Galvanize Ventures

Venture Upside Down


Galvanize Ventures is a seed stage venture capital fund; we invest across the country and believe exceptional teams can originate from any location. We approach venture from a unique vantage – community first.

The Galvanize Community is a startup ecosystem focused on collaboration, connection and education to facilitate and grow emerging companies. Through the power of our national campuses, and our growing network of gSchool graduates, we connect our portfolio of passionate digital entrepreneurs with our thriving Galvanize Community -  building a group greater than the sum of its parts to spark disruptive ideas, support our investments, and help companies scale their teams and operations across geographies.

Galvanize Ventures is a team of entrepreneurs and operators, we appreciate what it means to start a business and scale, because we live the same day-to-day hurdles you do. We welcome the new kids, the hustlers, the risk-takers, the visionaries, the alpha geeks, the pioneers, the innovators, in short, the men and women whose ideas will reverberate well beyond the digital community. In terms of support, we can provide more than capital and introductions, by leveraging our campuses, our gSchool talent, and our built-in community we aim to empower entrepreneurs with the resources they need to have their best chance at success - even if we don’t invest.

We’re on the lookout for new companies, venture funds, and individuals who share our vision for an innovation community without borders. If you want to tell us about your company, inquire about partnerships, or simply learn more about Galvanize Ventures, drop us a line.

Jim Deters

Co-Founder | Managing Director


I was fortunate to have learned at a very young age that I was unemployable. I knew if I wanted the freedom to create and make the decisions to shape my own future and the world around me, I was going to have use capitalism and my own ingenuity and create businesses. I have worked as an entrepreneur for most of my adult life and in 2010 I started angel investing, some investments include:, Active Junky, and Dabble. As an angel, I discovered we are in a very exciting time and in the midst of an urban, entrepreneurial renaissance. As an individual, my time and capital had limits and from this frustration the idea to scale venture capital by coalescing a community was born. The goal is to give entrepreneurs and their startups a better chance to grow and learn from each other and within community they operate.

Chris Onan

Co-Founder | Managing Director


My entire career has involved working closely with entrepreneurs to help build businesses. Prior to Galvanize I was a partner with Appian Ventures where I worked with Ping Identity, mPay Gateway (acquired by Payspan), T3 Media, Tendril and Auctionpay (acquired by Global Payments). Earlier in my career, I had the privilege of working with companies such as Broadbus Technologies, (acquired by Motorola (NYSE:MOT)), NextAction Corporation (merged with Datalogix, Inc.), Tian Software (sold to Outlooksoft/SAP (NYSE: SAP)) and Ischemia Technologies (sold to Inverness Medical/Alere, Inc. (NYSE:ALR)). I’m an angel investor in Closely Inc. and BulletTimeVentures (Uber, Sendgrid, Twilio, Simply Measured.) I speak on entrepreneurial finance at Denver University’s Daniels College of Business and the Leeds College of Business at the University of Colorado, Boulder. I’m also a member and former President and Chairman of the Rocky Mountain Venture Capital Association; and a co-founder of the Associates Board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado.


Lawrence Mandes

Co-Founder | Managing Director


My first entrepreneurial endeavor was in 3rd grade, a neighborhood car wash business with my friend. Perhaps it was this pursuit that sparked my drive to be a self-starter. I learned early on that I wanted to be in the proverbial driving seat and influence (if not control) my outcomes.

The majority of my professional life has been focused on creating and building value…either through the development of a new business within a larger company or through the several startups that I have launched. The successful outcomes were always rooted in the development of meaningful relationships. That’s what excites me about Galvanize…the ability to connect with and invest in great people that are self-starters, who are building interesting, disruptive innovation. Some of these include the teams at, Active Junky, and GoSpotCheck.


Kate Shillo

New York | Director


My path to venture capital is a unique one; hailing from a family of self-starters and small business owners I've worked in various industries: sports, service, old media, new media, and tech. I’ve witnessed New York’s technology industry flourish into the competitive landscape it is today. In my heart I'm an entrepreneur; I thrive at the earliest stages of ideas, and at the opportunity to problem solve and build. It’s an honor to work along side entrepreneurs and provide them the wherewithal to succeed.

I help manage investments for Galvanize Ventures. Previously I helped build and manage Lerer Ventures as Director of Operations for 4 years - an early stage tech investment firm in NYC with over 190 investments. Prior to I was an EA to Kenneth Lerer, Founder of Lerer Ventures and The Huffington Post, and launched my career as an EA to Martha Stewart at MSLO. I graduated with honors from Middlebury College and University of St Andrews, and serve on the Young Alumni Board of Suffield Academy.

Nick Wyman

Boulder | Director


I back-solved my way into venture capital after discovering my passion for working with entrepreneurs. I have the utmost love and respect for people who have identified a pain point or product idea and work their ass off bringing a solution to market. The ability to help direct resources (financial and otherwise) to the people, products and markets I believe in is a dream come true. I feel truly lucky to work with the amazing Galvanize team and the entrepreneurs we interact with on a daily basis.

I help run investments for Galvanize Ventures and oversee operations for the Boulder campus. Prior to joining Galvanize, I worked at the Foundry Group running Special Projects and spent time at Techstars as an associate. I'm an active angel investor and some of my investments include: FullContact, Conspire, CollectiveIP, Mocavo and Tonx Coffee (full portfolio on AngelList).