Techstars Seattle Welcomes Four New Entrepreneurs in Residence

Sep 13, 2023

Techstars Seattle is thrilled to announce the addition of four exceptional Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIRs) to its team to support a growing number of founders. These accomplished individuals bring a wealth of experience, creativity, and mentorship that will support the next class of founders joining the Techstars Seattle Accelerator program, which begins on October 9, 2023 and ends in January 2024.

Meet the Entrepreneurs in Residence:

  • Arean Van Veelan, CTO-in-Residence: Arean is the co-founder & founding CTO of OfferUp and is currently active as an advisor & investor in the Seattle community. Arean has nearly 30 years of experience building and designing software solutions, acting as a boundary spanner between business & technology. Together with his co-founder Nick Huzar, they raised over $700M from leading VCs such as Andreessen Horowitz, Tiger Global & GGV Capital. Arean will be a go-to contact for technical insights, product feedback, and insights into marketplace dynamics.

  • Bill Bryant, Investor-in-Residence: Bill had early and instrumental involvement in >25 leading enterprise & consumer software companies, serving as a 6X founder (Visio, Netbot, Qpass, Medio), CEO, senior exec, BOD member, advisor, angel investor & venture investor. Prior to Techstars, Bill has been GP with Threshold for 16 years where he invested in Remitly, Yellowbrick, Xealth, Ping Identity, Z2Live, Chef, Varolii. He is a past advisor to and angel investor in Galvanize, Socrata, Winshuttle, Swype, Cascadia Capital, Limeade, Jabber, Banzai, Pictory, Pairtree and Proxi. Bill is an LP in 15+ venture capital funds (pre-seed through growth). He has met with over 15,000 startups in his career, and has been a long-time mentor for the Techstars Seattle program. 

  • Chris Pitchford, CRO-in-Residence: Chris is a two-time founder and Techstars Seattle 2016 alum as a co-founder of Shyft. Chris has been a multi-time revenue leader and was the first sales hire at which was acquired by Microsoft in late 2021. Chris will guide the founders in refining their go-to-market strategies, building repeatability in their sales motions, and strengthening their partnership negotiations.

  • Yifan Zhang, CEO-in-Residence: A Techstars Boston alumna, Yifan is a two-time founder whose company Loftium, a Norwest and DFJ-backed housing affordability startup, was acquired by Flyhomes. She was Forbes “30 under 30” as the CEO of top 5 fitness app GymPact. Yifan graduated from Harvard, and is a member of Mayor Harrell's One Seattle Partnership. Yifan will provide insights into early-stage challenges, from product-market fit to hiring, marketing, and fundraising. 

These four EIRs are not only accomplished entrepreneurs in their own right but also bring a diverse set of skills and experiences that align with Techstars Seattle's commitment to supporting startups across various industries and stages of growth.

"We are delighted to welcome Arean, Bill, Chris, and Yifan to the Techstars Seattle team," said Marius Ciocirlan, Managing Director at Techstars Seattle. "I’m honored to have the opportunity to work with such successful entrepreneurs. I’m certain the impact of their mentorship will increase each company's chances of success.”

Techstars Seattle remains committed to empowering the most promising startups and looks forward to the invaluable contributions that these Entrepreneurs in Residence will make to the thriving entrepreneurial community.