Austin Russell

Austin Russell

Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Austin Russell is an inventor, business leader, and automotive safety pioneer as the Founder and CEO of Luminar Technologies, a leader in automotive LiDAR hardware and software technology. Under Austin’s leadership, Luminar has developed state of the art LiDAR and software technology capable of enabling next-generation safety and autonomous capabilities for global production vehicles. Luminar has amassed over 50 commercial partners, including the majority of the world’s largest automakers. The company went public on the NASDAQ in 2020. Austin has set a 100-year vision for Luminar - to save as many as 100 million lives and 100 trillion hours on the road over the next century.

Austin founded Luminar in 2012 at age 17, after previously working on various photonics and optoelectronics projects, architecting a new kind of LiDAR to enable safe autonomous functionality on cars, trucks, and robotaxis. Now 29, Austin has been recognized by Forbes as the world’s youngest self-made billionaire. Austin was also a recipient of the Thiel Fellowship, one of MIT Tech Review Innovators Under 35, and Forbes 30 under 30 alumni. He is an active philanthropist, recognized in 2022 on the Philanthropy 50 as the 36th largest donor in America.

Alec Gores

Alec Gores is the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Gores Group, a global investment firm focused on acquiring controlling interests in mature and growing businesses which can benefit from the firm's operating experience and flexible capital base.

Mr. Gores began his career as a self-made entrepreneur and operating executive. In 1978, he self-funded and founded Executive Business Systems (EBS), a developer and distributor of vertical business software systems. Within seven years, EBS had become a leading value-added reseller in Michigan and employed over 200 people. In 1986, CONTEL purchased EBS and Mr. Gores subsequently began acquiring and operating non-core businesses from major corporations and building value in those entities, a decision that ultimately led to the founding of what has evolved into The Gores Group today.

Under his leadership, The Gores Group has continued to acquire businesses in need of operational and financial resources, while creating value and working with management to establish an entrepreneurial environment as a foundation for sustainable growth. This philosophy has served the firm well. Since 1987, over 80 businesses have been successfully acquired. The current portfolio includes over 20 active companies world-wide with combined annual revenues of over $7 billion.

Mr. Gores holds a degree in computer science from Western Michigan University and lives in the Los Angeles area.

Jun Hong Heng

Jun Hong Heng is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Crescent Cove Advisors LP, a technology investment firm focused on working with founders and management teams to build the iconic companies of tomorrow. Mr. Heng launched Crescent Cove with $12 million in seed capital and a focus on the lower middle-market TMT sector, and began structuring creating financings for ambitious executives and fast-growing emerging businesses. Since then, Crescent Cove has grown steadily, raised multiple new funds, and completed several notable investments and exists, one of the most notable being when Luminar went public.

Mr. Heng was also the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer of COVA Acquisition Corp, as well as the Chairman of COVA’s Board of Directors. Previously, Mr. Heng served as Principal at investment firm Myriad Asset Management from 2011 to 2015, where he focused on Asian credit and equity, including special situations. From 2008 to 2011, he served as Vice President of Argyle Street Management, a spin-off from the Goldman Sachs Asian Special Situations Group. He began his career as an analyst at Bear, Stearns & Co., where he served in a multi-disciplinary role across technology, media and telecommunications, mergers and acquisitions, and equity and debt capital markets, and subsequently transitioned to Morgan Stanley in Asia. He is a Board Observer for GEO Semiconductor, Motiv Power Systems and OneRent, as well as an Advisor for FreightRoll. Mr. Heng holds a B.B.A. in Finance and Accounting from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Mary Lou Jepsen

Dr. Mary Lou Jepsen is the Founder, CEO, and Chair of the Board of Openwater, a San Francisco-based medical laser imaging device technology company. She also serves as Director on the Board of Lear Corporation, a Fortune 150 automotive components supplier.

Dr. Jepsen is a technology pioneer, with over 250 patents and 50 game-changing products to her name. From virtual and augmented reality systems to laptops and smartphones, from holography to health wearables, Jepsen has touched a wide range of technologies. As a prolific inventor and entrepreneur, Dr. Jepsen has been named as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine (“Time 100”), in addition to CNN’s top 10 thinkers in science and technology.

Previously, Dr. Jepsen served as the Executive Director of Engineering at Facebook, Inc. and Head of Display Technologies at Oculus, and she has also held similar roles at Google, Inc. and X (formerly Google[x]). Prior to this, Dr. Jepsen was a professor at MIT and co-founded the nonprofit organization "One Laptop per Child," for which she served as CTO and lead architect on design, cost-down, and scale components for the $100 laptops that were successfully shipped to millions of children in the developing world. Dr. Jepsen received her Ph.D. in Optical Physics, as well as her Sc.B. in Electrical Engineering and Studio art, from Brown University.

Dr. Shaun Maguire

Dr. Shaun Maguire is a Partner at Sequoia Capital, a venture capital firm that helps daring founders build legendary technology companies. Key companies that he has partnered with at Sequoia and where he currently sits on the Boards include AMP Smart Sortation, Knowde, Vise, Gather, Physna, and Monad.

Prior to joining Sequoia in 2019, Dr. Maguire was a Partner at GV, where he led their investments in Dandelion Energy, IonQ, Lambda School, and Spinlaunch, invested in Clutter,, Opendoor, and Stripe, and sourced their investment in Segment. Prior to joining GV, he was a Co-Founder and Chairman at Expanse (formerly known as Qadium), a cybersecurity company based in San Francisco that was later acquired by Palo Alto Networks (PANW) for $1B. He was also a Co-Founder of Escape Dynamics, Inc., a space launch company.

Dr. Maguire spent two years working at the Defensive Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), through which he deployed to Afghanistan and was part of a team that earned a Joint Meritorious Unit Award from the United States' Secretary of Defense.

He earned a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Southern California, an M.S. in Statistics from Stanford University, and an M.S. in Control and Dynamical Systems and a Ph.D. in Physics from the California Institute of Technology.

Katharine A. Martin

Ms. Martin is Chair of the Board of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and a Partner practicing corporate and securities law in the firm’s Palo Alto headquarters, which plays an active role in Silicon Valley's technology ecosystem by working with top innovators and entrepreneurs of technology and life sciences companies, as well as the funding sources that support them. She previously served as a member of the Policy Committee and leader of the business law department. Ms. Martin has extensive experience in representing public companies and her practice covers all aspects of company representation, including corporate governance, SEC compliance, 1934 Act issues, public offerings, private placements, and mergers and acquisitions.

Ms. Martin previously served as a Director of Nuance Communications, a public technology company and pioneer in natural language processing, for 18 years. Prior to that, she was a Partner at Pillsbury Madison & Sutro LLP.

Ms. Martin is a frequent spokesperson on corporate and securities law, corporate governance, and mergers and acquisitions, and is often ranked among the top corporate attorneys in regional and national publications, such as the Daily Journal’s “Top Lawyers of the Decade” in California.

Ms. Martin received her J.D. from the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law and her B.A. in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Matthew Simoncini

Matthew Simoncini was the former President, Chief Executive Officer, and a Director on the Board from 2011 to 2018 of Lear Corporation, a Fortune 150 automotive components supplier. In this role, Mr. Simoncini was responsible for the strategic direction and operational leadership of the company. Prior to this, Mr. Simoncini served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Lear since 2007, and held a variety of roles of increasing responsibility since joining the company in 1996. With his background, Mr. Simoncini brings significant strategic and financial expertise in the automotive and automotive-related sector, as well as extensive relationships with automakers, suppliers, equity investors, and capital markets. He began his career at Touche Ross and is a certified public accountant.

Daniel Tempesta

Daniel Tempesta served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Nuance Communications, Inc., a technology pioneer with market leadership in conversational AI and ambient intelligence, from 2015 to December 2023, including through its acquisition by Microsoft Corporation in March 2022. Prior to this, he was SVP, Chief Accounting Officer and Corporate Controller at Nuance from 2008 to 2015, and at Nuance his responsibilities included oversight of the finance and accounting operations, as well as tax, treasury, investor relations, order management, and procurement. Prior to Nuance, Mr. Tempesta served as the Corporate Controller and Chief Accounting Officer at Teradyne, Inc. He began his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC, where he held a number of roles in the assurance practice serving technology clients.