Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Austin Russell is an inventor, business leader, and self-driving industry pioneer as the Founder and CEO of Luminar Technologies (NASDAQ: LAZR), the global leader in automotive LiDAR hardware and software technology. Under Austin’s leadership, Luminar has developed the first lidar and software technology capable of powering production autonomous vehicles, has amassed over 50 commercial partners including the majority of the world’s largest automakers, and 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 robo-taxis, with over 100 awarded patents. Now 28, Austin has been recognized by Forbes as the world’s youngest self-made billionaire. Austin was also a recipient of the Thiel Fellowship, 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.
In 1987, Alec Gores founded private equity firm The Gores Group. It has made more than 120 transactions and had $900 million in assets in March 2019. Gores founded tech firm Executive Business Systems in 1978 and used the proceeds from selling that company to launch his private equity career. In July 2016 he bought a piece of Twinkie-maker Hostess Brands, which went public three months later. Gores has since sold the majority of his stake.
Jun Hong Heng
Jun Hong Heng is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Crescent Cove Advisors, LP (“Crescent Cove”), a technology investment firm focused on working with founders and management teams to build the iconic companies of tomorrow. He is also the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of COVA Acquisition Corp. 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. Jepsen is CEO, Founder and Chair of the Board of Openwater, a San Francisco-based medical laser imaging device technology company. She also serves as a Director on the Board of Lear Corporation, a Fortune 150 automotive components supplier.
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. She has over 200 patents published or issued to her name. 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. He is a Director of AMP Robotics, Gather, Knowde, Physna and Vise. Prior to joining Sequoia in 2019, Dr. Maguire was a Partner at GV, where he led their investments in Stripe, Opendoor, IonQ, Spinlaunch, Lambda School, Dandelion Energy, Clutter and Mode, 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 acquired by Palo Alto Networks (PANW) for over $800M. He was also a Co-Founder of Escape Dynamics, Inc. Dr. Maguire spent two years working at 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 PhD 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.
Simoncini, former President and Chief Executive Officer of Lear from 2011 to 2018, has significant strategic and financial expertise in the automotive and automotive-related sector and extensive relationships with automakers, suppliers, equity investors and capital markets.
Daniel D. Tempesta
Mr. Tempesta is executive vice president and chief financial officer of Nuance Communications, Inc., a technology pioneer with market leadership in conversational AI and ambient intelligence. His responsibilities have included oversight of Nuance’s finance and accounting operations, as well as tax, treasury, investor relations, order management, and procurement. Nuance was acquired by Microsoft Corporation in March 2022. Prior to Nuance, Mr. Tempesta was the corporate controller and chief accounting officer at Teradyne, Inc. He began his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, where he held a number of roles in the assurance practice serving technology clients.