February 11, 2016

The Colossal Spider Web of Upromise Alumni

(Editor's note: A huge thank you to Jeff Bussgang for his time and attention in helping us prep this post!)

In 2000, Jeff Bussgang, Michael Bronner, and David Fialkow teamed up to co-found Upromise, a loyalty program that lets members save for college by earning credits on everyday purchases. The company to date has helped its members earn a total of more than $900M in cash back for college.

Upromise was General Catalyst’s first investment. Fialkow put resources towards developing the idea, and he recruited Bussgang to be Bronner’s partner and co-founder. They went on to raise a $34M Series A that included General Catalyst, General Atlantic (which led the round), Greylock Partners, KPCB, and CRV. In 2006, Upromise was acquired by Sallie Mae for $300M.

Since then, many of Upromise’s founding team and key employees have successfully settled into leadership roles at other organizations or have started companies of their own - either solo or with other Upromise alumni. One of the most surprising (and noteworthy!) finds from our research? Upromise alumn Kenneth Lin who’s since gone off to the Bay Area and raised more than $300M for consumer-facing company Credit Karma, of which he’s founder and CEO.

Today, this Upromise network reaches far and wide. Here’s a look:

(This list appears in alphabetical order by the former employee’s current company name. When relevant, those who have moved on to the same organization are listed together.)


Michael Schreck
Current Role: Altisource Labs, Managing Director, Strategy & Investment (2012 - present)
Role at Upromise: Co-Founder (1998 - 2000)


Sheila Marcelo
Current Role:, Co-Founder, Chairwoman & CEO (2006 - present)
Role at Upromise: VP, Product Management & Marketing (2000 - 2005)


Dave Krupinski
Current Role:, Co-Founder & CTO (2006 - present)
Role at Upromise: Director of Product Management (2000 - 2006)


Name: Donna Levin
Current Role:, Co-Founder & VP, Policy, Corporate Responsibility, and Global Workplace Solutions (2014 - present)
Role at Upromise: VP of Operations (2006 - 2014)


Name: Zenobia Moochhala    
Current Role:, Co-Founder & VP of Consumer Marketing (2006 - Present)    
Role at Upromise: Web Marketing Manager (2002 - 2006)


Diane Musi        
Current Role:, General Counsel (2011 - present)
Role at Upromise: General Counsel (2000 - 2011)


Name: Erica Landry Scheik                
Current Role:, Chief Brand Officer (2011 - present)
Role at Upromise: Creative Director (2001 - 2003)


Name: Erin Warren                
Current Role: Cartera Commerce, SVP Marketing (2014 - present)
Role at Upromise: VP, Channel Marketing (2006 - 2011)


Name: Marc Mazzone            
Current Role: Cartera Commerce, SVP, Partnerships (2009 - present)    
Role at Upromise: VP, Online Mail (2002 - 2009)


Name: Mary Beth Bell        
Current Role: Cartera Commerce, VP, Relationship Management (2010 - present)
Role at Upromise: Senior Director, Online Mail (2005 - 2007)


Name: Venkat Kolluri        
Current Role: Chitika, CEO (2003 - present)
Role at Upromise: Principal Business Analyst (2003 - 2004)


Name: Kenneth Lin        
Current Role: Credit Karma, Founder & CEO (2007 - present)
Role at Upromise: Senior Marketing Analyst (2003 - 2004)


Name: Tom Anderson                
Current Role: Higher One, Director (2014 - present); Exeter Finance Corp., CEO (2014 - 2015)
Role at Upromise: CEO (2004 - 2006)


Name: Venkat Gaddipati        
Current Role: Exeter Finance Corp., CIO (2015 - present)    
Role at Upromise: SVP & CTO, Upromise Investments (2000 - 2007)


Name: Jeff Bussgang            
Current Role: Flybridge Capital Partners, General Partner (2003 - Present)
Role at Upromise: Co-Founder, President, COO, Board Director (2000 - 2002)


George Bell.png
George Bell        
Current Role: General Catalyst, Executive in Residence (2005 - Present)
Role at Upromise: President & CEO, Director (2001 - 2005)


David Fialkow.png
David Fialkow        
Current Role: General Catalyst, Managing Director/Co-Founder (2000 - present)
Role at Upromise: Co-Founder, Board Director


W. Sean Ford        
Current Role: LogMeIn, SVP & CMO (2014 - present)
Role at Upromise: VP Product Marketing, Product Management (1999 - 2001)    


Name: R.J. Lynch    
Current Role: nToggle, VP Product (2016 - present)
Role at Upromise: Senior Product Manager (2000 - 2001)    


Joanie Nevins.png
Joanie Nevins        
Current Role: Punchbowl, Board of Directors (2012 - present)
Role at Upromise: CFO


David Rochon.png
Name: David Rochon        
Current Role: SavingStar, Co-Founder & CEO (2010 - present)
Role at Upromise: President, Upromise Loyalty (2007 - 2010)


Name: Michael Libenson        
Current Role: SavingStar, Co-Founder & President (2010 - present)
Role at Upromise: SVP, GM, Upromise Grocery Services (2000 - 2010)


Kristyn Golier.png
Name: Kristyn Golier        
Current Role: SavingStar, VP, Online Merchant Development (2013 - present)
Role at Upromise: Director, Online Shopping (2002 - 2005)


Name: David Andre
Current Role: Sigma Prime Ventures, Advisor (2013 - present) & Chairman, Cartera     (2008 - present)
Role at Upromise: CTO (2000 - 2004)


Name: Joe Cuccinelli        
Current Role: Stealth Startup (2015 - present)
Role at Upromise: VP of Product (2012 - 2013) & Director, Product Management (2001 - 2005)    


Name: Sean Lindsay                
Current Role: Tapjoy (by way of Viximo acquisition), CTO (2007 - present)
Role at Upromise: Technical Lead (2001 - 2002)


Michael Bronner.png

Name: Michael Bronner                
Current Role: Unreal Candy, Founder
Role at Upromise: Founder, Chairman & CEO, Board Director, 2000 - 2006


Name: Chris Boyce            
Current Role: Virgin Pulse, CEO (2006 - present)
Role at Upromise: VP, Business Development (1999 - 2005)    


Name: David Coppins        
Current Role: Virgin Pulse, President (2012 - present)
Role at Upromise: President, Upromise Loyalty (1999 - 2012)    


Derek Ransom.png
Name: Derek Ransom        
Current Role: Virgin Pulse, CFO (2010 - present)
Role at Upromise: Director, Financial Planning & Analysis (2000 - 2006)


Jim Fadule.png
Name: Jim Fadule            
Current Role: Wealthfront, Advisor
Role at Upromise: President, Upromise Finance (2001 - 2008)


Name: Brian Harrington        
Current Role: Shea Center for Entrepreneurship at Boston College, Entrepreneur in Residence, (2015 - Present); Zipcar, CMO & EVP (2012 - 2015)
Role at Upromise: VP, Director of Partner Development (2000 - 2002)