Techstars, a global investment business that provides access to capital, one-on-one mentorship, and customized programming for early-stage entrepreneurs, announces two strategic and operational leaders who will join the global management team effective immediately. Aparna Ramaswamy will serve as the new Chief Human Capital Officer and Kimberly Smith has been appointed to the newly formed role as Chief Capital Formation Officer, both positions report to CEO, Maëlle Gavet.
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These two new members of the Executive Leadership Team will be integral in supporting Techstars’ high growth strategy (Photo: Business Wire)
“The best capital – whether human or financial – will pave the way for Techstars in its ambition to become the largest pre-seed investor,” said Gavet. “These two deeply talented and experienced operational leaders will help Techstars continue its growth worldwide for our proven and scalable investment business.”
As the new Chief Human Capital Officer, Ramaswamy has experience across a diverse portfolio of global businesses and industries/sectors including financial services, oil and gas, security, aviation, and public education. She has a recognized track record of shaping change through a strategic approach of aligning people and culture to enable businesses to scale and solve complex problems. In her most recent role as Chief Human Capital Officer for Success Academy Charter Schools in New York City, she introduced an innovative two-year leadership fellows program (Robertson Leadership Fellows) to accelerate and build the school leadership pipeline at scale and also created and led the first Inclusion Council and DEI commitments for a network of 47 public charter schools serving 20,000 children across four NYC boroughs. With Techstars’ recent announcement, launching nine diverse-led accelerators programs in partnership with J.P. Morgan, Ramaswamy’s experience in building and leading DE&I related initiatives at scale will be invaluable to the organization.
Prior to her most recent leadership role with Success Academy Charter Schools, Ramaswamy served as Co-Head of Human Resources at Bridgewater Associates and before that, spent 14 years at General Electric (GE) in progressively larger global Human Resources leadership roles across multiple businesses and industries. Based in Stamford, Connecticut, she plans to bring to Techstars her broad and varied range of global experience in talent acquisition, leadership capacity building, talent management, and total rewards, to reinforce operational excellence and deliver on Techstars’ key strategic objectives.
Ramaswamy received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Psychology from St. Xavier’s College in Mumbai, India, a Master of Arts in Sociology from the University of Mumbai, India, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. In her free time, she serves on the American India Foundation Tri-State Board and is a member of the Vitalize VC Angels investment community, and the Chief Network.
Named as Techstars’ first Chief Capital Formation Officer, Smith joined the company in September 2021 and immediately began making an impact through her influence with prospective and existing investors and Limited Partners (LPs). She was integral in helping the organization close the Advancing Cities fund last month.
Based in New York City, she will be responsible for Tecshstars’ fundraising and investor relations while cultivating relationships with current and future investors – both traditional institutional LPs as well as individuals and strategic investors. Smith has spent her career raising money in the investment management sector and before joining Techstars, spent 15+ years with Owl Creek Asset Management, a NY-based event driven hedge fund, where she was a Partner and responsible for raising and retaining billions of investor capital. She has also held leadership positions in Investor Relations and Marketing at Davidson Kempner, traded coffee and sugar in the Global Futures group at ABN AMRO and got her start in finance working at Ziff Brothers.
Smith received her Bachelor of Arts from Middlebury College and her Masters of Business Administration from Fordham University. She is also the Chair of both the Board of Trustees and the Investment Committee at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School in New York City.
Following four other executive appointments within the last year, Techstars is taking bold and ambitious steps toward bringing together an industry team of leaders focused on building and growing a world-class investment business at scale.
The Techstars worldwide network helps entrepreneurs succeed. Founded in 2006, Techstars began with three simple ideas—entrepreneurs create a better future for everyone, collaboration drives innovation, and great ideas can come from anywhere. Now we are on a mission to enable every person on the planet to contribute to, and benefit from, the success of entrepreneurs. In addition to operating accelerator programs and venture capital funds, we do this by connecting startups, investors, corporations, and cities to help build thriving startup communities. Techstars has invested in more than 3,000 companies with a combined market cap of more than $172B. www.techstars.com