The New England Venture Capital Association Appoints Five New Directors and Board Leadership

NEVCA welcomes five new board members for 2024, maintaining over 50% gender diversity across the board of directors

BOSTON — January 31, 2024 –The New England Venture Capital Association (NEVCA), the leading advocate and convener for the region’s venture ecosystem, today announced it has appointed five new members to its Board of Directors. With these new appointments, the NEVCA remains dedicated to a gender diverse board with over 50% female board membership.

Additionally, current NEVCA Treasurer Lily Lyman (Underscore) was appointed to NEVCA Vice Chair and current board member Deborah Palestrant (5AM Ventures) was appointed Treasurer. Kent Bennett (Bessemer Venture Partners) will remain in his position as Chair of the Board.

“NEVCA directors are both the organization’s standard-bearers and its visionaries,” said NEVCA Executive Director Ari Fine Glantz. “I’m particularly excited about our new additions as they solidify our ability to represent the region’s historic power centers in Life Science and Software, while helping us develop a deeper connection with the Healthcare, Medical Device, and Frontier Technology investment communities.”

Jessica Alston is a Partner at F-Prime Capital and focuses primarily on the biopharmaceutical and medical technology sectors. Prior to joining F-Prime in 2015, Jessica was an engagement manager in McKinsey and Company’s Boston office, where she focused on pharmaceuticals and medical products and advised companies across a range of strategic, organizational, and operational topics. She began her career at MIT Lincoln Laboratory in the Biodefense Systems group, where she worked on developing novel techniques for the detection of biological agents.

Ian Chiang is a Partner at Flare Capital and led the firm’s investment into Knownwell and was an essential part of the firm’s investments in Inbound Health, and RightMove, where he serves as a Board member, as well as Cayaba Care, and Oshi Health. Additionally, Ian led the firm’s Flare Scholar Ventures investments in Adni, EarlyBird Education, Narrable, and Vincere Health. Prior to joining Flare Capital, Ian served as Senior Vice President and founding member of CareAllies, a leader on Cigna’s US Strategic Operations team, and co-founder of several startups.

Mark Crane, partner at venture capital firm General Catalyst, focuses on sourcing and investing in growth stage investment opportunities such as Apiiro, Resilience, and TravelPerk. Prior to joining GC, Mark was a vice president at Cove Hill Partners in Massachusetts. Previously, he was a senior associate at JMI Equity and associate at North Bridge Growth Equity. Mark is a graduate of Amherst College, earning a B.A. in History.

Charlie Hipwood is the President and CEO of MassVentures with almost 30 years of experience in venture capital and private equity (MassVentures, STAG Capital), technology startups (founded Fluent Fintech, and AI Exchange) and established corporations (JP Morgan and Level 3 Communications). Charlie is a board member or observer at Armored Things, Fairmarkit, Jebbit, Spiro, Content Raven, Unstack, Labviva, ClearGov, BoardonTrack, and MMT.

V. Kadir Kadhiresan is the Vice President of Venture Investments at Johnson & Johnson Innovation — JJDC, Inc. (JJDC), focusing on investments in medical devices and digital health. Before joining JJDC, Kadir was head of Business Development at Guidant, Inc., now Boston Scientific, Inc. Kadir has also led the R&D of multiple early-stage technologies and products in cardiac rhythm management and heart failure.

The new directors join the NEVCA board comprised of leading investors from the region:

  • Kent Bennett, Bessemer Venture Partners — NEVCA Chair
  • Lily Lyman, Underscore VC — NEVCA Vice Chair
  • Deborah Palestrant, 5AM Ventures — NEVCA Treasurer
  • Yumin Choi, Valspring Capital
  • Colleen Cuffaro, Canaan
  • Jasmina Marjanovic, Takeda Ventures
  • Anna Palmer, Flybridge
  • Rudina Seseri, Glasswing Ventures
  • Stefan Vitorovic, Vida Ventures
  • Darshana Zaveri, Catalyst Health Ventures (CHV)

About the New England Venture Capital Association

The New England Venture Capital Association (NEVCA) fosters a collaborative, inclusive, and prosperous innovation ecosystem on behalf of New England’s VC industry. Operating across four pillars — Venture Community, Regional Brand, Workforce Development, and Public Policy — the association’s initiatives impact the community at large: events connect founders, funders, and innovators; legislative advocacy promotes economic growth; programs bolster professional development across the venture landscape.

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