A diverse, international and experienced team.

Investment Team

Managing Partner

Managing Partner

Advisors

General

Education and Technology

Product and Data Science

Entrepreneur In Residence

Legal

Business Development

Machine Learning

Healthcare

Partnerships

Diego Salas


Managing Partner

Diego Salas is a founding and managing partner at Epakon Capital. He is concurrently pursuing his MBA at Harvard Business School.

His expertise is at the intersection of technology, finance and LatAm. He is an investor and trusted advisor for early-stage startups in the region. Diego has successfully helped founding teams scale their businesses and position them for acquisition or institutional investment.

In his previous role at IBM, Diego led teams in innovative projects focused on disruptive technologies. In his role at Scotiabank before that, he led the Latin America market research and debt origination efforts.

Diego has received several recognitions for accomplishments in leadership and community including the MLT fellowship, the Huntington 100, and the Latino Civic Engagement award.

Diego holds a B.S. in Finance and Emerging Markets from Northeastern University, where he graduated magna cum laude.

Send him an email at: diego@epakon.com

Ivan Leniski


Managing Partner

Ivan Leniski is a founding and managing partner at Epakon Capital and is currently pursuing an MBA at Harvard Business School where he is a Robert Toigo Foundation Fellow.

Prior to Epakon, Ivan worked in investment banking at RBC Capital Markets in New York. He was responsible for executing debt capital market transactions, securitizing asset backed securities and financing large infrastructure projects.

Ivan is the President of the Latino Alumni Association of Columbia University (LAACU). He is also an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors of the Columbia College Alumni Association and the Vice President of Alumni Engagement for the Columbia College Young Alumni Board. 

Ivan holds a B.A. in Political Science from Columbia University.

Send him an email at: ivan@epakon.com

Carlos Gonzalez


General

Carlos has a broad experience in mass consumption markets after more than 30 years in the consumer-packaged goods industry at PepsiCo and Sabritas. He has experience in commercial transformations, business development strategy, direct selling distribution, talent development programs and business turnaround in both local and international markets with full top and bottom-line accountability. 

While at PepsiCo Carlos led more than 20 thousand employees & managed a $800 MM USD budget as the Vice President of Direct Selling Delivery. In his prior role at Sabritas, Carlos led 13 thousand employees and a $580 MM USD budget as Vice President of Field Sales, with assignments in both Mexico and Brazil. 

Carlos holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Metropolitan Autonomous University and an MBA from La Salle University in Mexico.

Lulu Curiel


Education and Technology

Lulu is a social entrepreneur in the education sector. She is the Founder and President of Ivy Advisors, an education consulting firm that helps leaders develop high growth and high impact career paths. At Ivy Advisors, Lulu integrates the power of data and technology to design personalized learning paths and coaching programs.

Prior to Ivy Advisors, Lulu was at Apple where she led worldwide business operations for the iMac computer and later drove sales operations for all of Apple’s product lines.

Lulu has a B.S. in Computer Systems Engineering from Boston University, where she graduated summa cum laude and an MBA from Harvard Business School. In addition to her business responsibilities, Lulu has served on the board of the HBS Latino Alumni Association since 2011. In 2018, she joined the HBS Global Alumni Board.

Daniel Salas


Product and Data Science

Having spent years building products that customers love, Daniel brings trusted experience in Product, UX and Analytics to the team at Epakon Capital as an advisor. 

Daniel is currently the Head of Product Insights for Spotify for Artists at Spotify and was previously at fast-growing companies like WeWork and Oscar Health. 

Daniel holds a PhD in Operations Research from Princeton University and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and Mathematics from Tufts University, where he graduated magna cum laude.

Vicente Zavarce


Entrepreneur In Residence

Vicente is the Founder & CEO of Yummy, the first food delivery app in Venezuela. He was born and raised in Venezuela, which motivated him to adapt and tropicalize a complex last-mile logistics business model back home.

Yummy is now doing over 60,000 deliveries monthly through their marketplace, started a B2B & API capability for businesses to connect to the Yummy Driver Fleet, and launched their first dark store in the country.

Vicente started his career in investment banking dedicated to M&A for tech companies, and then started his path in the startup world with 5+ years of Growth Marketing experience through his time at Wayfair, Getaround and Postmates. 

Vicente holds a B.S. in Finance and Entrepreneurship from Northeastern University, where he graduated magna cum laude.

Juliane Martin


Legal

Juliane is a mission-based investor in real estate ventures and technology startups with an aim to promote community growth. 

Juliane has seven years of affordable housing experience across U.S. and Latin American based projects. She co-founded a venture that designed a multi-million-dollar affordable housing project in Guatemala in collaboration with the Guatemalan government, Minister of Finance, JP Morgan, multilateral banks, and Guatemalan ambassadors. Juliane also served under the Obama Administration in 2015 where she worked for the Office of the First Lady, Michelle Obama.

Juliane holds a B.S. in Philosophy with a Business Administration minor from Northeastern University, where she graduated magna cum laude. She holds a J.D. from Georgetown Law School, where she was a Business Law Scholar.

Irvin Gomez


Business Development

Irvin Gomez brings hands-on business development, sales operations and GTM-strategy experience.

Irvin was one of the first sales hires at Catalant Technologies (backed by General Catalyst, Highland Capital and Salesforce Ventures), where he played a crucial role in scaling the company from 30 employees in 2016 to 200+ in 2020. He led business development efforts with C-Suite and SVP level executives at Fortune 1000 companies.

Currently, Irvin is pursuing his MBA at Harvard Business School where he is co-president of the student association. He received a B.A. with honors in Government and Economics from Dartmouth College.

Brian Trippe


Machine Learning

Brian Trippe brings expertise in machine learning and biotechnology.

Brian’s published research is internationally recognized. He is an author of numerous papers and a co-inventor of a patent on deep learning from his prior work at Google.

He is currently a PhD Candidate in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT. He received a B.A. in computer science and biochemistry from Columbia University, where he graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He holds a MPhil in Engineering from the University of Cambridge, where he was a Kellett Fellow.

Jonathan Xu, MD


Healthcare

Dr. Jonathan Xu is an expert in healthcare management and technology.

Jonathan is currently a resident physician in the Urology program at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center. Prior, he worked at New York Presbyterian as part of an ad hoc task force of physicians who assisted with the COVID19 epidemic.

Jonathan graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University with B.A. in Biochemistry and History. He then attended Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons where he obtained his MD.

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Name: Carta – Fund Administration
Website: www.carta.com

Carta fund administration combines exceptional service and real-time technology. Its services allow LPs to have a real-time view on investments, IRRs, and financial statements. For GPs, Carta is a full-service administrator, in charge of issuing capital calls, tracking expenses, generating financial statements, and keeping a record of all of the firm’s documents in one central location. Carta is trusted by over 14,000 companies and investors.

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Name: Gunderson Dettmer
Website: www.gunder.com

Ranked the #1 most active venture capital law firm globally for six years in a row (PitchBook). Gunderson was one of the first law firms to dedicate itself exclusively to venture capital investors and startup companies. They have maintained that focus for more than 20 years and today represent VCs of all sizes – from industry leaders with tens of billions under management to emerging managers raising their first funds – in the U.S., Europe, China and other technology markets throughout the world.

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Name: First Republic Bank
Website: www.firstrepublic.com

First Republic Bank (NYSE: FRC) is one of the largest banks in the United States with over $100 billion in assets. First Republic has specialized teams dedicated to meeting the unique and individual needs of venture capital and private equity firms. From capital call lines and partner loans, to online cash management, custody, brokerage and foreign exchange services, First Republic offers a range of solutions designed to support venture capital firms and starts ups of every stage. First Republic is the bank of choice of over 300 emerging venture capital managers.

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Name: Columbia Venture Community
Website: https://columbiaventurecommunity.com/

Columbia Venture Community is a network of 6,000+ Columbia affiliated members involved in all aspects of entrepreneurship and innovation. Founded in 2006, CVC has hosted more than 400 events around the world. Today, CVC hosts a vibrant digital community, organizes events in 14+ major cities from Silicon Valley to Seoul, and organizes five global problems including a venture matching program and 8-week female founder incubator.

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Name: VC Familia
Website: https://www.vcfamilia.com/

VC Familia is reshaping the venture capitalist and founder narrative. They are normalizing the Latinx experience, cultures, and community in the venture ecosystem. Its mission is to create an open and inclusive environment for current and future Latinx investors to thrive. VC Familia brings Latinx cultures into the venture community and increases representation in investment roles.

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Name: Harvard Innovation Labs
Website: https://innovationlabs.harvard.edu/

The Harvard Innovation Labs is an ecosystem that exists to support Harvard students and select alumni in their quest to explore the world of game-changing innovation and entrepreneurship. Hi-Lab unleashes the innovative power of individuals through a network of highly-curated advisors and mentors, peer collaboration and interaction, and comprehensive resource and programming support.