We have an unusual founding story...
Founding team during national COVID-19 lockdown
...because we have an unusually large founding team - and because we started the business on 4/1/2020, at the height of the national COVID-19 lockdown. Our Founders are SVB Financial Group (the parent company of Silicon Valley Bank), High Alpha, and Founding Team members Matt Blumberg, Shawn Nussbaum, Ken Takahashi, Nick Badgett, Cathy Hawley, Jack Sinclair, Andrea Ponchione, and Jennifer Goldman (pictured above from left to right).
Matt, Jack, Shawn, Cathy, Ken, Nick, Jen, and Andrea worked together for the bulk of the last 20 years (along with hundreds of other people, of course) starting, scaling, and ultimately selling a venture-backed company in the email industry, Return Path, which was well known for its strong values-driven culture and leadership development capabilities. The eight of them then worked in a series of interim and advisory executive roles for a few months and realized how impactful interim and fractional leaders can be on an organization if used and integrated correctly.
Silicon Valley Bank has the largest market share of any bank in the world when it comes to startups, scaleups, and the Venture Capital and Private Equity firms who invest in them. SVB’s Innovation Team had an idea of creating a stand-alone company to help their portfolio companies with executive talent needs because their VC, CEO, and CFO clients were constantly asking them for help in this area, and their team members were "matchmaking" off the side of their desks. High Alpha is a venture studio that is in the business of creating and funding B2B SaaS companies. Together with SVB, High Alpha developed the business case for a talent marketplace for interim and fractional executives for the startup and scaleup universe.
When the Founding Team met with SVB and High Alpha to discuss ideas for new businesses in the people/talent space, the three teams realized there was a natural fit for them all to partner together to start Bolster.
Full Bolster Team - December, 2020
Board of Directors
- Cristina Miller - Chief Commercial Officer, 1stDibs.com
- Melody Dippold - Managing Director & Head of Innovation, Silicon Valley Bank
- Scott Dorsey - Managing Director, High Alpha
- Matt Blumberg - CEO, Bolster
- Fred Wilson (Board Observer) - Managing Partner, Union Square Ventures
Bolster Board of Directors
- Fabio Rosati - Snagajob Chairman, former CEO Upwork and Elance
- Cindy Robbins - Equality Champion, Equal Pay, YearUp Board Member, Former President and Chief People Officer for Salesforce
- Jeff Leventhal - WorkRails Co-founder, previous founder and CEO of Work Market, Partner at Boldstart Ventures
- David Rosenblatt - CEO 1stDibs, former CEO DoubleClick, board member of IAC, Twitter and Farfetch
- Dan Finnigan - Former CEO Hotjobs and SVP Yahoo, former CEO of Jobvite, former Director of Careerbuilder, current Director at JobTrain
Always Have Heart
We treat everyone with respect and value the unique individuality of our employees, members and clients. We are helpful and thankful, inclusive, and assume positive intent.
We help others understand our thought process; show our data and facilitate honest and open feedback.
We are intellectually curious, and this helps us to grow and develop as high performing individuals, teams, company, members, and clients.
Do The Right Thing
We always err on the side of high integrity and to grow and putting company, members and clients above self, even when that is difficult.