TIMOTHY CHILDS, Co-Founder and Managing Partner
Timothy is a serial entrepreneur, super-taster, and award-winning innovator whose brand of creative disruption champions the deployment of new systems in old industries. From deep re-thinking of traditional marketing and distribution, to supply side efficiencies and consumer product positioning, his work exploits disruptive, off-the-shelf solutions to modernize some of the world’s most complex business systems.
As Founder and Chief Chocolate Officer at TCHO Chocolate, Timothy engaged a multidisciplinary community around the art and science of making the world’s best chocolate. He was the creative and tasting force behind the company’s vision and strategy, including TCHO’s flavor-driven approach to chocolate making as well as TCHOSource, the company’s innovative project to improve farmer livelihoods and generate prosperity throughout the cocoa value chain.
Prior to founding TCHO, Timothy launched the successful retail brand Cabaret Chocolates, where he co-pioneered single-origin marketing with distribution through national outlets. Before embarking into the food and beverage industry, his early stage companies in the Internet and computer graphics industries included VeRGe, Web3D RoundUP and a company that made machine vision systems for NASA’s Space Shuttle program.
Timothy is an internationally sought-after speaker whose work has been featured in hundreds of print, web, and TV stories.
Timothy’s other obsessions include community building, helping guide creative and cultural movements, paragliding and multi-camera video time-lapse projects.
SHELLEY ALGER, Co-Founder and Managing Partner
Shelley is an entrepreneur, investor, and photographer. Her intuition about trends and business acumen have guided her to several early-stage startups that became successful pioneers in their field. Fueled by her passion for world travel, she has worked and traveled in almost 50 countries.
While earning her MBA in International Business, Shelley spent time working on a technology transfer project in Uzbekistan. After graduation, she got involved in investment banking and innovative technology companies—including Genuity, one of the first Internet Service Providers. Here, she fell in love with the possibilities of the Internet, the creative energy of startups, and the compelling challenge of working in a whole new business category.
As Director of Business Development (and fifth person) at Critical Path, a pioneering email outsourcing company, Shelley managed all sales and sales training, participated in raising money from VC’s, negotiated large contracts, oversaw international and wireless expansion strategy, and participated in the IPO process. Later, her team oversaw the due diligence for the company’s acquisitions. During her 3.5 year tenure there, Shelley helped grow the company through “hypergrowth”, going from five employees to 1400 employees, and helped its market cap grow from $0 to $3 billion.
In 2000, Shelley left Critical Path to become a private investor. She spent several years running a vineyard while also focusing on her passion for photography. She has traveled and photographed wildlife and indigenous cultures across Latin America, Asia, Europe, and Africa. Her work has appeared in numerous gallery exhibits and travel books, and has won several distinguished awards.
Continuing her keen interest in business start-ups and investing, she is an active member of the Keiretsu Forum, a worldwide community of accredited private equity investors, venture capitalist investors, and corporate/institutional investors. Until starting ClearGrape in 2010, she was also a consultant to other high-tech start-ups as well as being involved with a video content production company focusing on leadership.
Her passions include dancing, travel, wildlife, and photography.