Techstars hires Aparna Ramaswamy & Kimberly Smith as strategic leaders

Maëlle Gavet, Chief Executive Officer of Techstars

Techstars, an investment business that provides access to capital, one-on-one mentorship, and customized programming for early-stage entrepreneurs, announces two strategic and operational leaders who will join the global management team effective immediately.

Aparna Ramaswamy will serve as the Chief Human Capital Officer and Kimberly Smith has been appointed to the newly formed role as Chief Capital Formation Officer, both positions report to CEO, Maëlle Gavet. “The best capital – whether human or financial – will pave the way for Techstars in its ambition to become the largest pre-seed investor,” said Gavet.

“These two deeply talented and experienced operational leaders will help Techstars continue its growth worldwide for our proven and scalable investment business.”

What is Ramaswamy’s industry expertise?

As the Chief Human Capital Officer, Ramaswamy has expertise across a diverse portfolio of global businesses and sectors like financial services, oil and gas, security, aviation, and public education. She has a good track record of shaping change through a strategic approach of aligning people and culture to enable businesses to scale and solve complex problems.

In a similar role for Success Academy Charter Schools in New York City, she introduced an innovative two-year leadership fellows program (Robertson Leadership Fellows) to build the leadership pipeline and also led the first Inclusion Council and DEI commitments for a network of 47 public charter schools serving 20,000 children across four NYC boroughs.

With Techstars’ recent announcement, launching nine diverse-led accelerators programs in partnership with J.P. Morgan, Ramaswamy’s comprehensive experience in building and leading DE&I related initiatives at scale will be invaluable to the organization going forward.

Ramaswamy also served as Co-Head of Human Resources at Bridgewater Associates and before that, spent 14 years at General Electric (GE) in progressively larger global Human Resources leadership roles across multiple businesses and industries.

Based in Stamford, Connecticut, she plans to bring to Techstars her varied range of expertise in talent acquisition, leadership capacity building, talent management, and total rewards, to reinforce operational excellence and deliver on Techstars’ key strategic objectives.

Ramaswamy received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Psychology from St. Xavier’s College in Mumbai, a Master of Arts in Sociology from the University of Mumbai and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

In her free time, she serves on the American India Foundation Tri-State Board and is a member of the Vitalize VC Angels investment community, and the Chief Network.

What is Smith’s industry expertise?

Prior to being named as Techstars’ first Chief Capital Formation Officer, Kimberly Smith had recently joined the company in September 2021 and immediately began making an impact through her influence with prospective and existing investors and Limited Partners (LPs). She was integral in helping the organization close the Advancing Cities fund last month.

Based in New York City, Kimberly Smith will be responsible for Tecshstars’ fundraising and investor relations while cultivating relationships with current and future investors – both traditional institutional LPs as well as individuals and strategic investors.

Smith has spent her career raising money in the investment sector and before joining Techstars, spent 15+ years with Owl Creek Asset Management, a NY-based event driven hedge fund, where as a Partner, she was responsible for raising and retaining investor capital.

She has also held leadership positions in Investor Relations and Marketing at Davidson Kempner, traded coffee and sugar in the Global Futures group at ABN AMRO and got her start in finance working at Ziff Brothers. Smith received her Bachelor of Arts from Middlebury College and her Masters of Business Administration from Fordham University.

She is also the Chair of both the Board of Trustees and the Investment Committee at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School in New York City. Following four other executive hires within the last year, Techstars is taking bold steps toward bringing together an industry team of leaders focused on building and growing a world-class investment business at scale.