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Techstars Appoints Shirley Romig as Chief Accelerator Investment Officer and Expands Board of Directors with Kristi Mitchem and Julie Harris

Romig Brings Extensive Experience Scaling High-Growth Businesses and Building Teams

Mitchem and Harris Broaden the Investment Management Experience of the Board of Directors

Techstars, the largest pre-seed investor in the world, today announced the appointment of Shirley Romig who will serve as the new Chief Accelerator Investment Officer and will report to Techstars CEO, Maëlle Gavet. In addition, Techstars also announced the appointment of Kristi Mitchem and Julie Harris to its Board of Directors (the “Board”).

As Chief Accelerator Investment Officer, Romig is responsible for overseeing Techstars’ accelerator programs and managing the selection, funding and mentoring of entrepreneurs globally. In this role, Romig also manages Techstars’ Global Network Partners and Ecosystem Development programs, including Startup Weekends and Founder Catalyst.

“Shirley understands what it takes to scale a business and how to achieve it from a people, process and platform perspective. She is a proven leader who has managed large and decentralized teams, combined both the physical and the digital world, driven change and fostered engagement. Shirley is the perfect fit to oversee our global accelerator strategy because she has first-hand experience as a founder, giving her an intimate knowledge of the experiences entrepreneurs face as they build their companies,” said Maëlle Gavet, CEO of Techstars.

“Kristi and Julie are exceptional additions to our Board, and their tenure in asset management makes them the ideal sounding board for our leadership team as we continue to pursue our mission to become the world’s best pre-seed investor. I’m confident that Kristi’s design-led, data-oriented approach to setting strategy, fundraising and driving business growth coupled with Julie’s technical background and experience leading operations within financial services will be tremendous assets for us as we move toward the next stage of our journey disrupting the venture capital asset class,” added Gavet.

Shirley Romig is a deeply experienced consumer, technology and operations executive with over two decades of experience at all stages of the company lifecycle. Most recently, she was the co-founder and CEO of pre-seed startup Mixo, a video social commerce platform for digital food content. Prior to that, Romig served as Vice President, Global Operations East & Canada, at Lyft, where she was also a member of the Lyft Senior Leadership Team. She also served as Group Vice President at Equinox Fitness, where she led ~6,000 field and corporate team members.

Earlier in her career, Romig worked in corporate strategy within the retail industry and held senior leadership roles at Hudson’s Bay Company and Saks, Inc., where she led the retailer’s omnichannel transformation across, as well as the launch of

Romig holds a Bachelor of Science in Commerce from the University of Virginia and an MBA from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. She currently serves as a public company board director at Lovesac (NASDAQ: LOVE) and Mama’s Creations (NASDAQ: MAMA).

Kristi Mitchem has an extensive and varied background in asset management. Most recently, she was the CEO of BMO Global Asset Management, the eighth largest bank in North America by assets (as of 2022).

Throughout her career, Mitchem has held various leadership roles at Wells Fargo Asset Management, State Street Global Advisors, Barclays Global Investors/BlackRock and Goldman Sachs. She has a proven track record in fundraising – working with both institutional, retail and defined contribution investors – product development, business building, business growth and turnarounds across the globe.

Mitchem holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Davidson College and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business. She is also a Fulbright Scholar and represented the United States Fulbright Association in Costa Rica before beginning her career in financial services.

Julie Harris has more than 35 years of experience in technology, management consulting and financial services. She currently serves as Chief Administrative Officer and Global Head of Operations for Asset & Wealth Management at JPMorgan Chase where she oversees 5,000 team members across Operations and broader risk and controls and sits on a number of firm-wide committees.

During her almost six years at JPMorgan Chase, Harris has led the drive to change the way Operations works by innovating and creating smarter, scalable solutions to replace onerous legacy processes. Prior to her current role, she was a Partner at Goldman Sachs with responsibility for Liquidity & Collateral Operations, Global Regulatory & Tax Operations, Firmwide Reference Data Operations and Client Onboarding.

Harris holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Western Michigan University and an MBA in Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Management from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. She began her career as a management consultant at Arthur Andersen (now Accenture) and Diamond Management and Technology Consultants

About Techstars

Techstars is the most active pre-seed investor in the world having invested through its accelerators in more than 3,700 companies. Founded in 2006, Techstars believes that entrepreneurs create a better future for everyone and great ideas can come from anywhere. Now we are on a mission to invest in an unprecedented number of startups per year enabling more capital to flow to more entrepreneurs around the world. We do this by operating accelerator programs and venture capital funds, as well as by connecting startups, investors, corporations, and cities to help build thriving startup communities.


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