Team

TEAM

Jim Scheinman
Founding Managing Partner
Jim Scheinman headshot

Jim Scheinman is the Founding Managing Partner at Maven Ventures, a leading seed stage venture firm for emerging consumer software and autonomous technology startups. Jim has been fortunate to have achieved five unicorn exits ($1B+ exits/valuations) in his career in roles ranging from founder, executive, and investor. His top performers include Zoom, Cruise & Bebo. Jim is one of the leading growth experts in Silicon Valley & has a TED talk.  He’s now most well known for naming Zoom.

 

 
Sara Deshpande
Partner
Sara Deshpande headshot

Sara Deshpande is a Partner at Maven Ventures where she invests broadly in high growth consumer software, with a focus on mobile, digital health, family tech, marketplaces, alternative protein, and other emerging consumer trends. Since joining Maven as the first employee in 2014, Sara has been part of over 30 investments and 9 exits including Zoom (IPO, “ZM”), Cruise (acquired by GM), and Chariot (acquired by Ford). Select investments include Gennev, Wildtype, Pledge, Frame, Hello Heart, Carrot Fertility, Embark, Daybreak Health, Simulate (Nuggs), and Eden.

Sara has advised and invested in consumer and tech startup founders around the globe for over 12 years. She is a lecturer on entrepreneurship at the Stanford GSB and a regular contributor to Forbes on Venture Capital. Previously, she managed an accelerator and programming for hundreds of startups at The Idea Village, an entrepreneurship engine in New Orleans, and was a management consultant in the Healthcare Strategy practice at Deloitte. Sara holds a BS in Finance from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio and an MBA from Stanford University.

 
Robert Ravanshenas
Senior Associate

Robert Ravanshenas is a Senior Associate at Maven Ventures. He joined Maven in 2015 as the firm’s first Associate, supporting the investment team’s work backing many of Maven’s exceptional entrepreneurs. After three years in the role, he transitioned full time to a Maven portfolio company in the transportation sector, Skip, where he worked in roles across operations, business operations, and finance. He helped launch Skip’s scooter sharing service in Portland and San Francisco and worked alongside the startup’s leadership on strategic finance. Robert has since returned to Maven as a Senior Associate on the investing team.

Robert graduated from Duke University, where he earned a BS in Economics with a focus on Finance and Management and was a finalist in the Duke Startup Challenge with his company Alma Matters, a crowdfunding platform for university students’ research and projects. Robert wrote his college admissions essay on the birth of social media and its impact on his high school, foreshadowing his career working in consumer VC. Outside of work you can find him jamming on the piano with his friends or channeling his inner Federer on the tennis court.

 

Jay Drain Jr.
Associate

Jay Drain Jr. is an Associate at Maven Ventures where he invests in and supports founders with a vision worth fighting for. Jay joined Maven in Fall 2020, lifting the size of Maven’s investing team to four – its largest ever. Jay previously worked as an analyst in Goldman Sachs’ Global Markets Division for two years, covering hedge funds on the Cross Asset Sales desk in New York City, and as a Summer Associate at pre-seed venture firm Amplify.LA. Jay graduated from Amherst College, where he earned a BA in Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought, and was a member of the Men’s Track & Field team. 

Outside of the office, Jay is an active member of BLCK VC, the Director of Programs for Project Love Chicago, and a Mentor Coach with America Needs You.

 

Cortney Hsu
Executive Assistant
Courtney Hsu headshot

Cortney Hsu is the Executive Assistant at Maven supporting Jim and Sara. Cortney joins Maven with a wealth of experience from General Atlantic, Prospect Venture Partners, and Credit Suisse.

Growth Hacker-in-Residence

This is a transitional role; most will start their own companies or join a portfolio team. Our most recent team member in this capacity was Ben Hoffman, who is now an active advisor to several companies in the Maven portfolio.

Maven’s Values
  • Collaborative: We are not political. We are willing to share praise, and be honest and transparent with each other.
  • No jerks: We are happy, positive, and fun to work with.
  • Accountable: We are high-performing, get stuff done, and value attention to detail.
  • Curious: We are always willing to learn. We are knowledgeable and strive to be experts in our field.
  • Self-starters: We take initiative, work autonomously, and are resourceful.

Testimonials

“Jim has been great to work with from the launch of Zoom; he gets along with everyone and is there to help on anything we need. His contacts in the business and venture community have been invaluable. And, not only did he come up with the name Zoom (we were calling ourselves saasbee), but he also helped us create our marketing strategy and language, go to market launch and PR strategy, and has introduced us to key consultants and employees. Jim's been an integral part of our success to date that has culminated in an amazing introduction to and review of Zoom by Walt Mossberg at the WSJ. We truly couldn't have done this without Jim's help.”

Eric Yuan
Founder & CEO, Zoom

"Jim Scheinman at Maven has been one of our strongest supporters and most trusted and helpful advisors. He has been a great sounding board on strategy, product vision, and fundraising."

Kyle Vogt
Founder and CEO, Cruise

“Jim and Sara's support and strategic help helped us grow fast and smart, and they've continued to open doors for us ever since. We didn't expect that they would also challenge us to think about our company values and (aside from being successful) what we wanted our company to become; we're a stronger company as a result.”

Ed Olson
CEO and Co-founder, May Mobility

"We worked closely with the Maven Ventures team in their incubator from the initial idea and vision for Epic! through our Series A. Not only were they incredibly helpful in the early days as we launched the company, but their introductions to Series A investors and guidance through that process was invaluable in raising a successful round."

Suren Markosian
Founder and CEO, Epic!

"Probably the best decision we made in 2008 was bringing Jim on board. He mentored us through the fundraising process and has always been an invaluable, highly dependable resource for us to build our company. Jim has reached out to his network and helped us with a jump start that as a young startup we could have only dreamed about."

Vikas Gupta
Co-founder and CEO, SocialGold
Founder and CEO, Wonder Workshop

"Everything changed after we met Jim and Maven came on board. Jim helped us focus on our core strategy and articulate our unique vision -- a fun, positive place to share your real self -- and implement hyper-growth strategies. Since then, our growth has been explosive, reaching over 5M users in a year. Maven also went above and beyond to make critical intros to our most strategic investors in our $8.5M Series A round."

John Shahidi
Co-Founder and CEO, Shots

"Maven was our first investor and has provided essential support and advice along the way. The Maven team transformed our initial pitch with feedback and training, and we ultimately raised an oversubscribed Seed round from world-class investors."

Joe Du Bey
Co-Founder and CEO, Eden

"From the start, Jim was instrumental in helping us focus our strategy on becoming the leading mobile video call platform. His insights and expertise in consumer UI, viral marketing, & the smartphone market are invaluable, as are his incredible senior level contacts in both the industry and the venture capital community. He's also great to work with."

Uri Raz
CEO and Co-Founder, Tango

"Jim played an integral part in shaping Check and helping us grow into the mobile personal finance leader we are today. Jim brought consumer experience and helped us successfully raise financing at a high valuation. He has also done a terrific job of recruiting and hiring top talent to the team, including our new COO, the former GM of Yahoo Finance!"

Guy Goldstein
CEO and Founder, Check

"Jim and Sara were the investors we didn't know we needed. They supported us through a major pivot, helped get our A and B rounds done, and generally served as trusted advisors through the whole process as first time founders. I've really enjoyed working with them. Great perspective when you need it."

Alex Rodrigues
CEO and Co-Founder, Embark Trucks