We’re excited to work alongside these 8 talented minds and high-energy individuals that will be joining us this summer. Each will bring their diverse experiences to AVP to provide a fresh vantage point on their specific practice areas.

Rachel Whaley

Focus: B2B SaaS

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Rachel Whaley hails from North Carolina and brings a diverse background to Access Ventures, with previous roles centered around interactive design, marketing and event production, in addition to experience working with startups, small businesses and corporations in a variety of capacities. Most recently, Rachel worked with Ticketmaster on B2B marketing strategy, campaign management, and event production. Earlier this year, she launched a transportation and logistics company, Argent Travel to provide destination travel solutions and event enhancements leveraging luxury tour buses. Rachel is an outdoors enthusiast with a love for live music and photography, and her volunteer pursuits in Denver are fueled by her passion to build community through events. She is currently pursuing her MBA at CU Boulder and is interested in applying her creative background to business strategy and innovation in order to produce measurable results and greater social impact through her work. She completed her undergraduate degrees in New Media and Spanish at UNC Asheville.

Brandon Salimi

Focus: Digital health

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Brandon Salimi, GSB ’19, found his niche in venture capital. Merging his passion for biomedical technology with an analytical focus, Brandon worked simultaneously for the UVM Medical Center as a Cardiology Technician, while also interning with — and then joining! — the Network Venture Investments team at the UVM Health Network. Previously, he forged his interest in investment through with the Catamount Innovation Fund as COO, and the Green Mountain Investment Fund as an analyst. Currently, Brandon is pursuing his MBA at the Simon Business School at the University of Rochester, while serving on the Simon School’s Venture Capital Fund and as a Venture Fellow with Newchip Accelerator. He is excited to join the incoming summer venture associates class at Access Ventures to continue identifying innovative digital and DTC health-focused companies to further increase his involvement in the venture ecosystem.

Chidum Okoye

Focus: eCommerce

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Chidum is an MBA student at University of Rochester’s Simon Business School, and served as a Senior Analyst in the Simon School’s $2M Venture Fund (SSVF). He has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, and post-undergrad has worked at a tech startup, a startup investment fund, and venture capital. He has an avid interest in finance, investments, and startups/entrepreneurship all of which fuel his passion for discovering and engaging with founders building interesting solutions to problems. Outside of work, you can find him discussing the stock/crypto markets, playing some rounds of golf, hiking, and trying out different drinks/brews with friends/colleagues.

Ryan Murtaugh

Focus: Data & ML/AI

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Ryan is a multidisciplinary founder with a background in life sciences and firsthand experience in the tech startup landscape. Recently he co-founded a mental health tech startup that increased referral efficiency between individual mental health professionals. He graduated from California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) with a bachelor’s in biology and a minor in entrepreneurship. Based in Colorado, he will be working with Access Venture Partners to research opportunities in the AI/ML/Data Science vertical

Steven Peralta

Focus: Fintech

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Steven is an MBA and Master Candidate at the Wharton School and Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. Steven has professional experience in Strategy and Research & Analytics across the TMT and Financial Services industries. Most recently, he worked at Facebook and Angel Ventures, where he worked with a FitnessTech portfolio company.  Steven has a strong interest in the intersection of technology, consumer, and the private markets. He is currently a Ventures Fellow at Green D Ventures at the Alumni Ventures Group. Outside of work, Steven enjoys traveling and fitness. He’s lived in 9 countries and traveled to over 50 countries. Steven also holds an AB from Dartmouth College. 

Cooper Huston

Focus: Engineering

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Cooper Huston is a recent graduate of the University of Denver holding Bachelors degrees in Computer Science and Public Policy. Cooper interned at two middle market investment banks as a software engineer, developing quantitative trading software for fixed income markets. Outside of work, Cooper enjoys skiing, cooking and exploring new locations in Colorado’s Front Range.

Pierce Alworth

Focus: Engineering

Linkedin

Pierce Alworth is a Computer Engineer based in Colorado. I have strong web development experience and have recently been working in a data science roll with Lynk Ltd. I am passionate about agriculture & construction technology development and enjoying the outdoors in Colorado

Michael Wray

Focus: Blockchain & Cybersecurity

LinkedIn

Michael is passionate about how technology and innovative financial instruments can help change our day-to-day lives. He’s a strong leader, manager, and strategic thinker focused on utilizing his expertise in go-to-market strategy to fund and support startups. Having spent the first part of his career working as an entrepreneur, then as a sales manager at SaaS companies, he gained expertise in account-based marketing, sales methodology, and fundraising. He’s excited to spend the summer focused on Blockchain and Security technology and hopes to help other entrepreneurs achieve their goals.