The Team

Our team is made up of seasoned operators with decades of combined experience founding and scaling SaaS companies

  • Michael Cardamone

    Managing Director & General Partner

    Michael was an early employee on the BD team at Box and more recently led BD and partner marketing at AcademixDirect.  He is an active angel investor and personally advises a number of startups. Michael has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Syracuse University and a MBA from Columbia University.

  • Whitney Sales

    General Partner

    Whitney has 10+ years of startup sales experience and is the founder of The Sales Method, a consultancy that helps startups identify target markets, build successful sales teams and quickly get products to market.  She led four companies to the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies list including LoopNet, Joby, Meltwater and SpringAhead. Whitney graduated with honors with a BA in Sociology from UCSD.

  • Nina Stepanov

    Associate & Head of Platform

    Nina is a Boston to NYC transplant who joined Acceleprise from Techstars. She earned her SaaS stripes at companies like HubSpot, Intuit, and Embedly. She is an advisor to multiple tech and lifestyle brand startups as well as a contributor for VentureFizz on venture capital. Nina graduated Cum Laude with a B.S. in Business Administration from Northeastern University.

  • Rohit Bhargava

    Venture Scout - Australia

    Rohit is the Founder and Director of Playbook Media and host of The Startup Playbook Podcast, which is ranked #3 on iTunes in Australia for Marketing & Management. Prior to Playbook Media, Rohit was the co-founder and CEO of StageLabel and Community Manager at Startup Victoria, where he helped develop the startup ecosystem in Victoria.

  • Akul Penugonda


    Akul is an East Coast native who joined Acceleprise from Yext, a large SaaS company in New York. He joined Yext after college and stayed through IPO. He has spent time in various positions in both Software Engineering and Product Management, and spends time volunteering in his free time. Akul graduated with a B.S. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University.

Advisory Board

  • Nick Mehta

    CEO - Gainsight

    Nick is currently the CEO of Gainsight, a rapidly growing SaaS company that has raised over $100M in funding from top VC’s.  Prior to Gainsight, Nick was the CEO of LiveOffice (acquired by Symantec) and an EIR at Accel Partners.  Nick has made several angel investments in enterprise startups, including Hoopla, which has raised over $10M in venture funding.  Nick holds an A.B/S.M. from Harvard.

  • Rowan Trollope

    CEO - Five9

    Rowan is the CEO of Five9 and has spent 23+ years in various product and executive roles at Symantec and Cisco, where he was the SVP & GM of the Collaboration Technology Group at Cisco.  Rowan is an angel investor and advisor to several enterprise tech companies, and currently holds 7 patents.

  • Susan Kimberlin

    Former Director of Product - Salesforce

    Susan is an angel investor and startup advisor in San Francisco. Her background is in search and natural language processing technology and her operational experience spans product development roles from coding to product management at both startups and large companies like PayPal and Salesforce.  She is passionate about making connections and helping people meet their potential.  She believes that diversity is an essential and under-utilized asset to all businesses.  

  • Adir Shiffman

    Advisor - Acceleprise

    Adir is currently Executive Chairman of Catapult Sports (ASX: CAT), and Chairman/Director/Founder of a number of other technology businesses including Global Reviews and early-stage startups including A regular speaker and guest at events around the world, Adir has been featured in Fortune, Forbes, This Week in Startups, Sports Illustrated, Smart Company, WSJ, ESPN, and the Australian Financial Review.

Our Mentors

We have an amazing group of mentors: founders, executives and leaders of software companies, large and small. They have been through it all - and still volunteer their time to work with our founders, helping to shape the next generation of great SaaS companies. Want to become a mentor? Fill out the form here and we'll get back to you.


Founding Partners, DC Program

Acceleprise was originally founded in the nation’s capital by the three entrepreneurs below. We have since transitioned the accelerator to San Francisco, but the founding partners still act as critical advisors to the fund.

  • Sean Glass

    CEO of GBS Health

    In addition to founding Acceleprise in DC; Sean is an entrepreneur, investor, and believer in the power of people. He is the Chairman and CEO of GBS Health and previously founded the higher education focused online financial services firm, Higher One, where he served as founding president and then as part of the executive team as Chief Marketing Officer for 8 years. Higher One went public in 2010 (NYSE:ONE).

  • Allen Gannett

    CEO of TrackMaven

    In addition to founding Acceleprise in DC, Allen is the founder & CEO of TrackMaven, the Competitive Intelligence Platform for Digital Marketers. Prior to TrackMaven Allen was the founder & CEO of Splash Networks and then was the CMO of EmployInsight, which was acquired.

  • Collin Gutman

    CEO of WorkAmerica

    In addition to founding Acceleprise in DC, Collin is the co-founder & CEO of WorkAmerica, which is the Linkedin for Skilled Trades.  Prior to WorkAmerica, Collin was the Chief Strategy Officer at EmployInsight and spent time with the Boston Consulting Group.