The Core Community

We rewrote the rules and the economics of venture capital and built the Underscore Core Community, a curated, expert ecosystem that provides founders with the right expertise, from the right people, at the right time, all on our dime.
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Core Members

Get a sense for the community by exploring this small sampling of Core Members.
Dries Buytaert
Founder of Acquia & Drupal

Dries is the original creator and project lead for the Drupal open source web publishing and collaboration platform. He is also Co-founder and CTO of Acquia. As a supporter of Underscore VC from day one, Dries served as a Core Partner to two of our firm’s very first investments: Moltin & Mautic.

Corey Thomas
Corey Thomas
Chairman & CEO of Rapid7

Corey is the CEO of Rapid7, as well as the chairman of its board of directors. He serves on the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC) and is elected chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Corey is a CloudZero Core Partner. Learn more about his involvement with CloudZero here.

Natalie Gibralter
VP of Product at Microsoft

Natalie is an Underscore VC Core Limited Partner and the VP of Product, Azure Communication Services at Microsoft. Previously she was a product lead at Squarespace, where she helped steer the company through 10x growth during her seven-year tenure.

Sam King
Sam King
CEO of Veracode

Sam is an Underscore VC Core Limited Partner and the Chief Executive Officer of Veracode. She’s a recognized expert in business management and cybersecurity, and sits on the boards of Progress Software and ZeroFox.

Maria Loughlin
Maria Loughlin
Former SVP of Engineering at Toast

Maria is a tech executive and advisor to technology startups. She previously served as SVP of Engineering at Toast and is an Underscore VC Core Limited Partner and a Core Partner to Mable. Read more here.

Mike Massaro
CEO of Flywire

Mike has over 20 years of experience in global payments, mobile software and hardware, and e-billing at high-growth technology companies. He is currently the CEO of Flywire and is an Underscore VC Core Limited Partner.

Rob Hickey
Rob Hickey
Former EVP of Engineering at DataRobot

Rob is a deeply experienced technology practitioner and executive, who previously served as Executive Vice President of Engineering at DataRobot. Rob is an Underscore VC Core Limited Partner.

rana kaliouby
Rana el Kaliouby
Co-Founder of Affectiva and Former CEO of Smart Eye

A pioneer in Emotion AI, Rana is Deputy CEO at Smart Eye and formerly, Co-founder and CEO of Affectiva. She is the author of the best-selling book Girl Decoded and is an Underscore VC Core Limited Partner.

Yi Chen
Yi Chen
Former SVP & GM at Toast

Yi was most recently the SVP and GM of Consumer Products at Toast, where he was employee number six. Today, he is the CEO of OpenCity and an Underscore VC Core Limited Partner.

Meghan Joyce
Meghan Verena Joyce
CEO of Duckbill

Meghan is a former Uber and Oscar Health executive. Today she is the Founder and CEO of Duckbill and an Underscore VC Core Limited Partner. Learn more about Meghan via her Core Summit session recording.

Steve Fredette
Steve Fredette
Co-Founder of Toast

Steve is the President and Co-founder of Toast, where he leads product and innovation initiatives. Prior to Toast, he worked on mobile app development before the iPhone came out, creating the first Flickr and apps. He is an Underscore VC Core Limited Partner.

Dianne Na Penn
Dianne Na Penn
Product Lead at Anthropic

A former Amazon product leader, Dianne is a member of the technical staff at Anthropic, where she Dianne is an Underscore VC Core Limited Partner.

Chris Eng
Chris Eng
Chief Research Officer at Veracode

Chris is a founding member of Veracode, where he is the Chief Research Officer. Chris is an Underscore Core Limited Partner and a Core Partner to CloudZero.

Chad Laurans
Chad Laurans
Founder & Chairman of Simplisafe

Chad is founder, Chairman, and former CEO at SimpliSafe. An electrical engineer by training, he personally developed significant portions of the SimpliSafe product and backend systems. Chad is an Underscore VC Core Limited Partner.

Brian Zitin
Brian Zitin
CEO of Reggora

Brian is the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Reggora. He is also an Underscore VC Core Limited Partner.

Andy Palmer
Co-Founder of Tamr

Andy is a seasoned entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience in building and scaling innovative companies in the fields of technology, health care, and life sciences. He is the Co-founder of Tamr, and Underscore VC Core Limited Partner, and a Core Partner to Trove Health.

Amy Villeneuve
Amy Villeneuve
Board Director, Advisor & Past COO and President of Amazon Robotics

Amy is a board director, advisor, and the past COO and President of Amazon Robotics. She is an active Core Member with broad expertise in corporate strategy creation, scaling businesses, building and inspiring leadership teams, and M&A integration.

Ada Glover
Co-Founder & CPO, Zus Health

Ada is the Founder and Chief Product Officer at Zus Health. Previously she served as the Executive Director of Product Management at Athenahealth. Ada is an Underscore VC Core Limited Partner.

Core Event Engagement Opportunities

Core Members enjoy regularly connecting with and learning from a strong peer network.

Core Summit

The largest Core Community event of the year! Delivering curated opportunities to connect, workshop ideas, and swap stories. As one past attendee put it, “it’s the best networking event in Boston.”

Learn More
Broader Core Events

Between our Go-To-Market Collective, Core Coffee Shops, Core Summer Social, and Womxn of the Core events, there is no shortage of opportunities to engage with experts in the Core Community.

Apply to the Core
Curated Core Engagements

We’re regularly working alongside Core Members to create bespoke Core engagement opportunities to meet the moment and solve startups most pressing challenges. We welcome new ideas.

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Core Partners

Valuable advisors come at no cost to the founders Underscore backs. How? We’ve pioneered an "open-source" investing model that allocates a profit share in our investments to experts in the Underscore Core Community that help us support startups. We call these individuals “Core Partners.”
Learn More
  • Tiffany Mosher Taylor
    People Resources Executive, Appcues
  • Jeremiah Brazeau
    Distinguished Engineer, Shopify
  • John Belizaire
    CEO, Soluna Computing
  • Maria Loughlin
    Former VP of Engineering, Toast
  • Allison Macleod
    Allison Macleod
    CMO, Flywire
  • Mark Roberge
    Investor & HBS Senior Lecturer
  • Amory Wakefield
    Product and Strategy Advisor
  • Benjamin Davis
    Head of Revenue, Air
  • Bryan Dsouza
    Head of Product Marketing, Aptiv
  • Bryan House
    Chief Experience Officer, Elastic Path
  • Corey Thomas
    CEO, Rapid7
  • Deborah Yang
  • Julia Cheek
    CEO and Founder, EverlyWell
  • Julianna Lamb
    Co-Founder & CTO at Stytch
  • Lindsey Christensen
    CMO, thoughtbot
  • Nish Murthy
    Founding Partner, BeaconGTM
  • Samuel Lee
    Head of Pricing Strategy & Ops, Snowflake

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