the Team

the faces of
Launch Factory

We are a team of explorers, thinkers, and builders. Startups are our passion and their success is our daily mission. We bring together experience as founders, managers, and investors to create meaningful opportunities for experienced and aspiring entrepreneurs alike.


Brad Chisum

Cofounder & Partner

Brad is the former CEO and co-founder of Lumedyne Technologies, a MEMS Inertial Sensor company acquired by Google. 

Prior to Lumedyne, Brad held engineering and management positions at the U.S. Space and Naval Warfare Defense Systems Command (SPAWAR), and with semiconductor manufacturer STMicroelectronics.

Brad holds four patents and three degrees: an MBA from San Diego State University, a B.S. Electrical Engineering and B.S. Mathematics from Southern Methodist University.  


James Hereford

Cofounder & Partner

James previously served as the Chief of Staff for the Technology Engineering division of Google’s Hardware Product Area.

Prior to Google, James held engineering, program management, and business analyst positions at ION Geophysical and Chevron Technology Ventures.

James holds three degrees: an MBA from Rice University, an M.S. in Predictive Analytics from Northwestern University, and a B.S. in Multidisciplinary Studies – Physics from the University of Oklahoma.


Kimberly Davis King


Kim was a General Partner with IDG Ventures from 1997 to 2006. She played an active role in managing and investing over 9 years a $120 million captive fund.

She led multiple investments in software and technology infrastructure. Successful IPO investments included F5 Networks (FFIV) and VA Linux (LINUX). Prior to joining IDG Ventures, she was an Associate at BankAmerica Ventures. She has also served as a product manager in the Multimedia Publishing Group at Microsoft and spent four years as a consultant at Andersen Consulting.  Kim holds a B.S in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School.  Today she teaches Entrepreneurship at both SDSU and UCSD, sits on various non-profit boards and holds multiple leadership positions including the National Charity League.


Rob Raczkowski

VP of Corporate Development

Rob Raczkowski is a senior venture executive – experienced in creating and managing early-stage ventures and leading corporate innovation programs.

He previously served as an innovation lead for Corning Life Sciences and as the Portfolio Manager/Chief of Staff for the Emerging Innovation Group at Corning Inc.

Additionally, Rob served as a Principal at Ruth Asset Management, a long/short fund focused on disruptive technologies, and he is the co-founder of The Active Network.

Rob received an MBA degree from Columbia Business School and a BS Engineering degree from Cornell University, College of Engineering. 


Andy Ballester

EIR, Co-founder of GoFundMe

Andy Ballester is a co-founder of GoFundMe, the world’s largest online fundraising platform, and a technology mentor and advisor.

Prior to GoFundMe, Andy served in senior management and founder positions at several companies, including Create a Fund and California Product Shop.

He also volunteers as a Mentor with the EvoNexus incubator, Techstars Anywhere Accelerator, and Ad Astra incubator where he helps multiple startups and their founders navigate product development. Andy holds a B.A. in Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.


Ken Potashner

Member, Board of Directors

Ken has extensive executive and board-level experience in high growth, high technology global organizations. He has been CEO, Director and Chairman of several companies that achieved Billion+ valuations. 

He has served as a director in the US and in Asia of eight public company boards in addition to numerous private boards. Ken was most recently Chairman of Newport Corporation (NEWP), which was sold in 2016 for $980M to MKS Instruments. Previously, Ken served as the CEO and Chairman of Maxwell Technologies (MXWL) and Sonicblue (SBLU). When away from the office, Ken is running, hiking, biking, skiing, snowboarding or on some form of danger-infused adventure travel.


Bill Orabone

Incubation Advisor

Bill is a veteran of global business, a successful serial entrepreneur, an angel investor and a mentor to countless entrepreneurs. His four successful technology start-ups resulted in exits worth over $450M with four industry-first product introductions.

 After ‘retiring’ from startups, he has made more than 50 early-stage investments and achieved over 45 profitable exits in a wide range of technologies and markets.

Prior to his startup career, Bill worked in multiple roles in manufacturing, engineering, sales, finance, and strategic development at PPG, Eagle Picher Industries, and Energy Conversion Devices. He has a BS in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University and is one of the earliest Six Sigma Black Belts.


Strategic Advisors

Robert Phillippy

Independent Consultant

Robert Phillippy is an independent consultant, advising technology companies on a range of strategic, operational, and organizational issues. He previously served as the President, Chief Executive Officer and director of Newport Corporation.

In April 2016 Newport was acquired by MKS Instruments, and Mr. Phillippy served on the board of directors of MKS instruments until May-2018. He currently serves on the boards of three publicly held companies – ESCO Technologies, Kimball Electronics and Materion Corporation; and in advisory/board roles for selected private equity and emerging technology companies.

Robert has over 35 years of experience in technology-related industries, including various sales and marketing management positions at Square D Company, now part of Schneider Electric.

 Robert holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management and a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.


Gail Mosse

Legal & Technology Transactions Expert

Gail is a highly experienced Silicon Valley attorney who serves technology clients through periods of growth, transition, and globalization.

Her work includes substantial privacy and security counseling, helping her clients adopt cutting-edge artificial intelligence and machine learning programs. Gail has worked in-house in B2B software and B2C tech companies and presently operates her solo legal consultancy practice, which has been active for 10+ years serving clients such as Netflix, LinkedIn, and Yahoo. Additionally, she has served as an independent Director of Lawyers’ Mutual Insurance Company (LMIC) for 6+ years. Gail earned her B.A. in Economics and Political Science and J.D. from Stanford University.


Launch Factory Team

Alessandro Rinaldi

Director of Innovation

Alessandro leads our ideation efforts & due diligence into new business opportunities.

Previously, Alessandro held roles as an operator and founder in enterprise software and consumer goods start-ups.

Alessandro graduated from Stanford Graduate Business School in 2018. He also holds a Master’s Degree in International Management (Universitá Cattolica del Sacro Cuore) and a B.S. in Business Administration and Information Systems (Northeastern University).


Kumar Kilambi

Operations Associate

Kumar focuses on both our founder recruitment and due diligence efforts.

He received a B.S. in Business Management Entrepreneurship from San Diego State University.


Bradd Schofield

Marketing Generalist

Bradd focuses on our marketing outreach, website design, and founder recruitment.

He received a B.S. in Marketing from San Diego State University


Danielle Linn

Office Manager

Danielle focuses on managing the day-to-day operations of the Launch Factory office.

She received a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of California, San Diego.


Active Interns

Allan McBride

Graduate Innovation Intern
MBA candidate at the Rice Business School

Kieran Jha

Innovation Intern
Undergrad at University of Southern California

Katelyn Hermanson

Marketing Outreach Intern
Undergrad at Indiana University

Anne Wen

Graduate Innovation Intern
MBA Candidate at Harvard Business School

Intern Alumni

Austin Shaw

Research Intern
Undergrad at San Diego State University

Lexi Oplinger

Research Intern
Undergrad at San Diego State University

Austin Abhay

Process Development Intern
Undergrad at San Diego State University

Alexis Rogers

Graduate Innovation Intern
MBA candidate at San Diego State University

Isaiah Weiss

Innovation Intern
Undergrad at the University of California San Diego

Khushboo Poddar

Graduate Finance Intern
MBA candidate at Rice University

Lorenzo Rossini

Graduate Innovation Intern
PhD in Mechanical Engineering from UCSD

Isaac Torres

Innovation Intern
Undergrad at San Diego State University

Moiz Muhammad

Innovation Intern
Undergrad at the University of California San Diego

Julia Jiang

Graduate Innovation Intern
MBA candidate at Carnegie Mellon University

Siyu Lai

Data Analytics Intern
M.S. in Business Analytics at UCSD

Yanrong Dai

Graduate Innovation Intern
M.S. in Finance at Johns Hopkins University

Arianna Gianakopoulos

Graduate Innovation Intern
MBA candidate at the University of Colorado Boulder

John Sanderson

Graduate Innovation Intern
MBA candidate at The Ohio State University

Mckenna Vranicar

Content Marketing Intern
Undergrad at University of California Berkeley

Ian Steffes

Content Marketing Intern
Undergrad at San Diego State University

Dan Oakes

Graduate Innovation Intern
MBA candidate at Stanford Graduate School of Business

Evan Morris

Video Production Intern
Undergrad at San Diego State University

Dominic Boland

Marketing Outreach Intern
Undergrad at San Diego State University

William Li

Graduate Innovation Intern
MBA candidate at Carnegie Mellon

Santiago Vallarta

Graduate Innovation Intern
MBA candidate at the University of San Diego

Pamela Henriquez

Graduate Innovation Intern
MBA candidate at Columbia Business School

Alexander Tran

Marketing Outreach Intern
Undergrad at San Diego State University

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