The Upwave Team

The Upwave platform plans, measures, and optimizes brand campaigns to make brand marketing more impactful.

Our Values

We know our success starts with our entire team, so we established core values to guide every action we take.

Unusually Caring

Celebrates others’ milestones, goes out of the way to know colleagues, respectful of others’ time and gives others the benefit of the doubt.

Bias Toward Action

Believes done is better than perfect, when sees a problem, addresses it without being asked to, honors commitments: does what they say they’ll do, doesn’t let discussion of a problem outlast time to solve it, and no task is beneath them

Intellectual, not just Intelligent

Asks “why” often, curious about our industry and aspects of Upwave outside of their role, proudly wonkish, crisp and precise in communication, logical, structured approach to problem-solving.

Upwave Matters

Puts company goals ahead of their ego, respects how their piece fits into the whole puzzle, helps with tasks outside of their role, contributes to team bonding and the Upwave community, proud when Upwave wins, and fights harder when we lose.

 Play Nice with Others

Gracious in disagreement, debates to learn, not win, takes their work seriously, but not themselves, energized by collaboration, and high EQ: aware of their impact on others.

This is Upwave

Meet the team that makes brand marketing more impactful.

The Leadership Team

Chris Kelly

CEO

Chris is a serial tech entrepreneur with experience in enterprise software, big data, brand marketing, financial services, and management consulting. He founded multiple web startups, including an online college textbook market and DeliveryEdge, a same-day delivery service for consumer goods startup. Earlier in his career, Chris worked in Marketing and Business Development for SavvyMoney, was a Management Consultant at McKinsey & Co. and an Investor at Matrix Partners.

Chris is an accomplished Founder, Entrepreneur, and Venture Capitalist. Chris holds a degree in finance and economics from the University of Notre Dame. Growing up playing soccer, the first brand Chris felt connected to was Umbro. Umbro shorts, shirts, and cleats made every child who wore them cool in the eyes of their 7-year-old classmates. He remembers the smell of new Umbro equipment each Fall when he got to buy his new soccer gear.

Ajey Bhir

VP, Finance & Business Operations

Ajey is a finance and business operations executive with a passion for driving sustainable growth in early to mid-stage tech startups. Before joining Upwave, Ajey was Director of Finance & Business Operations at Entelo and Finance & Strategy Manager at Stitcher. Earlier in his career, he worked in M&A investment banking at Citigroup and strategy consulting at Deloitte Consulting.

Ajey specializes in financial modeling, mergers & acquisitions, and financial analysis. He holds an MBA from the University of Michigan and a BS in Computer Science from the University of Delaware. Ajey’s favorite brand as a child was Air Jordan. Growing up in the 1990s, the Air Jordan brand was ubiquitous in pop culture and epitomized "90s cool." Ajey was a big fan of both Michael Jordan and basketball growing up and can vividly remember the thrill of getting a new pair of Air Jordan sneakers on his eleventh birthday.

Jim Warner

CTO

Jim has led engineering at 3 previous startups and has spent his career building out large-scale systems at companies that include Oracle and Amazon. Prior to co-founding Upwave, Jim co-founded Coterie, a next-generation e-commerce company (acquired by Poshly in 2014), and Inveska Corp, a predictive analytics company that rates mutual fund performance.

Jim is the inventor of over 20 issued U.S. patents and has authored 7 peer-reviewed papers. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a BS in Computer Science and Mathematical Sciences (Applied Math). Growing up in Maine, Jim always loved LL Bean as a brand. He was very outdoorsy, growing up canoeing, hiking, and camping and LL Bean fit that lifestyle. When his children went to school, he was really excited to buy them their first Bean backpacks.

John Stewart

VP, Measurement

Jon is a research executive with extensive experience in digital advertising. Throughout his career, he has worked in consumer and cross-media research creating advertising research products for global brands such as Google, AOL, Kia Motors, and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group. Previously, Jon led global Insights at Rocket Fuel (acquired by Sizmek in 2019) and was a Research Director at the Nielsen Company's Media Analytics division. As a recognized digital media expert, Jon has been a featured speaker at major industry events, including SXSW, IAB Newfronts, ARF, and others.

Jon specializes in advertising research, custom insights, analytics, and operations. Jon received a BA in Mathematics and Economics from Albion College. The first brand Jon felt passionate about was Mongoose, a bicycle brand of BMX Products, Inc. Jon and his friends spent their summers riding on dirt trails that they forged themselves. Jon loved configuring his Mongoose BMX to match his favorite Mongoose Factory racer, Eric Rupe, because he caught the biggest air off jumps.

Ken Archer

VP, Product

Ken is a product executive and architect specializing in building high-performance product development teams to produce products using advanced statistical analysis and machine learning within AdTech and MarTech. Before joining Upwave, Ken was Head of Product at Quantcast where he helped launch its first self-serve DSP. Earlier he was Founder & CEO of Adacus, an AI-driven dynamic creative digital ad serving company (acquired by Thunder Industries in 2017) and CTO of Telogical Systems, which is a marketing personalization platform.

Ken holds an International Business Law degree from Central European University, an MA in Philosophy from the Catholic University of America, and a BA in Political Theory and Philosophy from Tufts University. The first brand Ken felt a strong connection to was Saks Fifth Avenue because they opened a store his small hometown of Tulsa, filling the town with the pride of having been selected over larger cities. When they opened, Ken bought Saks parachute pants to impress his 5th-grade classmates.

Kendra Ingram

Director, Talent

Kendra is an experienced senior recruiter and talent acquisition leader with an accomplished track record of developing and executing global staffing strategies for full-life cycle recruiting and creating high-performing talent acquisition teams.

Her expertise is in full-life cycle recruitment with a focus on the candidate experience and consistently prove success as a strong leader who is adept at developing and managing relationships at all levels. Proven ability to manage demanding requisition loads while meeting tight deadlines.

Tim Krozek

CRO

Tim brings an extensive history of successfully growing teams and revenue at large companies, including Yahoo!, AOL., and NBC and at startups, such as Efficient Frontier (acquired by Adobe in 2011), Quova (acquired by Neustar in 2010), and Flite (acquired by Snap in 2016). Tim executes on product-market fit, go-to-market strategies, pricing, operations and fundraising across SaaS platforms, marketplaces, and artificial intelligence and machine learning applications within insurance, reinsurance, and financial services.

As CEO of Boost Media, he has experience in building high-growth tech companies - keeping an eye on fixing top and bottom-line performance while adhering to strict cost to revenue metrics. Tim holds an MBA from Cornell University and a BA in Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. The first brand Tim remembers feeling passionate about is Sears. Sears sold everything (i.e. tools, clothes, furniture, insurance, mortgages, candy, etc.) - it was the original Amazon. Even his in-laws’ house in Bayonne, New Jersey was ordered out of the Sears catalog. Tim loved wearing Tough Skin Jeans; they were a staple in every house in his neighborhood.

Our Board

Carey Lai

Carey Lai is a founding team member and Managing Director at Conductive Ventures, a $100M enterprise software and hardware fund. He leads the firm’s software investments where he specializes in software as a service (SaaS). Carey has over 15 years of venture capital and technology experience.
Prior to Conductive Ventures, Carey spent over 4 years investing at Intel Capital focused on Internet and enterprise software companies. His portfolio included 500Friends (acquired by Dentsu), Box (BOX), BrightEdge, Gigya (acquired by SAP), Kabam (acquired by Netmarble), Nexmo (acquired by Vonage), Onefinestay (acquired by AccorHotels), Sprinklr, and SweetLabs.
Carey has an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He also graduated with a B.A. in International Economics from the University of California Los Angeles.

Pat Kenealy

Pat Kenealy is a Founder and Managing Director at Ridge Ventures, an early-stage venture capital fund focused on enterprise software. Pat's 20 years of VC experience and his 20-year operating career at IDG helps him guide portfolio companies throughout their development. Pat was previously CEO at IDG, Publisher and CEO of PCWorld, and Founder and CEO of IDG's Digital News Publishing subsidiary. Pat holds a BA from Harvard University and is Board Director or Observer at Espresa, Upwave, and Yesware.

Stephanie Palmeri

Stephanie Palmeri is a partner with Uncork Capital, where she invests in seed stage companies that empower individuals, families, businesses, and communities. Stephanie has led over 25 investments at Uncork in Consumer, Marketplaces, SaaS, Health, and Hardware, including Poshmark, ClassDojo, Clever, Panorama Education, Phil, Upwave, Wonderschool, Xstream Trucking, and Carrot Fertility. She previously served on the boards of Chariot (acquired by Ford), Niche (acquired by Twitter), and Spoon University (acquired by Discovery). Prior to joining Uncork Capital in 2011, Stephanie’s decade working in New York City spanned technology, marketing, and startups. She holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and is a founding member of All Raise.

Tim Connor

Tim is the Founder and Managing Partner of PivotNorth Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm based in Palo Alto, CA focused on disruptive innovations in computer science. Tim is currently investing PivotNorth’s third fund.

Tim has created over $7B of market cap as a VC and operator. Prior to founding PivotNorth, Tim was a partner and GP for 12 years at Sequoia Capital and US Venture Partners. During Tim’s operating career, he helped build C-Cube Microsystems from a startup into a publicly-traded leader in digital video, and at Tandem Computers he helped design Tandem’s flagship Everest server line. Tim is co-author of three issued US patents.

Tim received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame with High Honors, an M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Stanford University, and an M.B.A from Harvard Business School with Distinction.

Our Investors

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