Ajay invests in early-stage software with a focus on front-office SaaS, AI/ML infrastructure, and supply chain technology. Prior to Bain Capital Ventures, Ajay led product and sales as an early employee at Trilogy, an enterprise software pioneer, growing annual revenues to $300 million.
Ajay’s primary investment themes include AI-enabled applications (Clari, Gainsight), the future of work (Homebase), bottom-up and developer led software (Sendgrid), supply chain and manufacturing transformation (FourKites, ShipBob, Vention), and automation (Ike). Ajay served as board director of several exited companies with combined outcomes of nearly $5 Billion, including SendGrid (acq. by Twilio), TellApart (acq. by Twitter), Kiva Systems (acq. by Amazon), and InfoScout (acq. by Vista Equity), and has been named multiple times to the Forbes Midas List Top 100 Venture Capitalists.
As employee #18 and SVP Product, Sales & Marketing at Trilogy Software, Ajay built a legendary recruiting program, signed multi-million-dollar contracts with Fortune 500 customers, and delivered breakthrough enterprise products, including market leading config-price-quote (CPQ) software. Ajay holds a patent for the “Method and Apparatus of Configuration Solutions”.
Combining his track record at Trilogy with 17 years of investment experience at Bain Capital Ventures, Ajay’s passion is working with early stage founders on team-building, culture, iterating on product-market fit, and scaling go-to-market operations.
I graduated from high school thinking I wanted to be a professional musician, so I majored in music at the University of Central Florida. I spent my days playing music, sports, and pledging to a fraternity but failed to have an academic focus. After three semesters of struggle, I went to work for Disney World, where for the first time in my life I was given responsibility for other employees. I blossomed in this role and was sent to France to open Euro Disney where I lived and worked for four months. Coming back home with a burning desire to learn more about the African diaspora, I went back to school graduating with a sociology degree from State University of New York Geneseo. I wanted to pursue a career where I could make a difference in the world, particularly for those who have historically been underserved and denied the opportunity. I moved to NYC where I taught high school, then was hired by NAF (National Academy Foundation) in 2000 to help launch the Academy of Information Technology. NAF is a national network of education, business, and community leaders who work together to ensure high school students are college, career, and future ready.
My NAF career has been a wonderful 22-year journey which has prepared me for this incredible opportunity with BUILD. I helped NAF grow from supporting 3,000 students to over 120,000 today, with budgets growing from $8M to $25M, and a staff of 17 to over 90. Growth and scale are not easy hills to climb, however, I am very confident that we will accomplish that at BUILD given the incredible work done to date and the passion and energy that exists to create an even brighter future.
I believe that we are at a critical moment in the United States, confronted with deep partisan divisions roiled by populism, racism, and other dividing forces. Now more than ever, our country needs an organization committed to helping its youth develop the entrepreneurial skills and growth mindsets that will empower them as leaders of innovation, agents of change, and position them for success as the CEOs of their lives. I am very honored and super excited to lead the BUILD team at this unique moment.
Gagan Kanjlia is the Chief Product Officer at Silicon Valley Bank, a Division of First Citizens Bank. In this role, he oversees all commercial products related to liquidity, cross-border payments, card services, merchant services, trade finance and credit. In addition, he manages the channel, core banking and digital aspects of SVB’s products. Gagan is also the co-executive sponsor for SVB’s PRIDE LGBTQ+ employee resource group.
Prior to joining SVB in December 2018, Gagan was the Head of Product at OnDeck, where he led a team that reimagined the financing experience for small businesses by offering a complete credit solution that could be delivered both online and via mobile. He also spent several years with Capital One Financial where he co-founded Capital One Garage, a corporate internal incubator for Capital One Financial Services. He also ran product efforts for the Auto Finance and Home Loans divisions and built the digital product practice for Capital One Financial Services.
Gagan is an avid philanthropist and spent five years heading up the Washington, D.C. chapter of Asha for Education, an organization that helps fund early childhood education for underserved communities in India.
Gagan holds a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from the Delhi Institute of Technology, a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Iowa, and an MBA in finance from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. Currently, Gagan resides in the Bay Area with his wife and two children. When he is not solving for the advancement of humanity, Gagan enjoys preparing home-cooked meals for his family.
Michael has over 15 years of experience building, running, and scaling technology companies and organizations across a wide range of industries. Leading the organization of Neon One brought together Michael’s skills and experience in growing entrepreneurial technology companies with his passion for supporting non-profit organizations to increase their impact in the world. Now CEO of Boatsetter, Michael also serves as Regional Board Chair for Build.org California.
Michael has a Computer Science Degree from UPenn, and an MBA from the University of Chicago. After starting a career at Accenture where he built global technology systems in New York, London, Singapore, & Seoul, he co-founded CaptainU. Acting as President, he and his team scaled this sports technology platform to millions of customers and organizations. After CaptainU was acquired by Blue Star Sports, Michael joined the Blue Star team as Chief Revenue Office and GM of the Enterprise Software and Payments group, helping scale the organization and combining products to build a product suite for organizations to excel and flourish. Michael is now proud to leverage his background to help nonprofits and other mission-driven organizations drive impact and help them reach their goals more quickly.
Mike Portegello is an Assurance Partner at Ernst & Young LLP, where he brings more than 30 years of international and domestic experience in public accounting serving publicly traded companies with operations in both the US and abroad. Currently, he serves as the Northeast Region Strategic Growth Markets (SGM) Leader to provide services that help companies navigate the various aspects of a growth-oriented enterprise. SGM is a global network of EY professionals advising the full spectrum of dynamic, fast-moving and groundbreaking companies around the world, including VC-backed/private equity companies and their investors, large private and family enterprises, IPO-bound companies, and public companies in the Russell 3000 and 2000 indexes.
Throughout his career, Mike has worked with clients in New York and California, as well as internationally. He has served US registrants and foreign private issuers on SEC matters including initial public offerings (IPOs), public and private debt offerings, quarterly and annual filings, acquisitions, divestitures, and stock registrations.
Previously, he provided overall management and led high performing teams to deliver audit services to New York State and Connecticut area clients. He continues to work closely with multinational organizations as well as high growth phase companies in the software/technology, media and entertainment, and leasing industries.
Prior to this role, Mike served as Strategic Growth Markets Leader for New York, leading a multidisciplinary team of dedicated professionals in providing perspective to and advising our emerging, IPO-bound, entrepreneurial clients on accelerating their growth. In addition, he has served as a Co-Director of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year New York program.
Mike graduated Suma Cum Laude from St. John’s University and received his MBA from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at NYU.
Fill out this form to receive a free sample of our curriculum and to receive occasional email updates on how to bring BUILD to your community.