Building The Franchise

Ameet Shah
Golden Ventures
Published in
6 min readOct 19, 2022


We’re now 10+ years into Golden Ventures, and while the world has been changing around us, we couldn’t be more excited about continuing to invest in seed stage founders and the companies they are building. As our portfolio grows, we’re continually looking to innovate and think about how we can create tangible value for the teams we’ve backed.

As always, founders and entrepreneurs will lead the way regarding company building and value creation. Our job as investors is to pick (and be chosen by) the best entrepreneurs and increase the probability of their success by providing support beyond capital. Supporting the portfolio is a team effort, so we’re excited to share that we’ve made some incredible additions to Golden Ventures that will help us source, pick and support world-class entrepreneurs meaningfully in their journey.

Welcome, Alison, Julia and Emma!

Alison Kaizer, Julia Baird and Emma Cumuric

Alison Kaizer — Head of Talent

Alison (or Ali, for short) joins us as our Head of Talent. She will support our portfolio in building talent programs that attract world-class people.

Most recently, Ali led Talent at food-tech startup Lunchbox, where she built and led the team that grew the company from 50 to 250 people. Before this, as the first Talent Acquisition hire at Ritual (a portfolio company), she led the charge in building the systems to scale and expand the team across North America, Europe, Hong Kong and Australia, taking them from 40 to 400+ globally. Her additional experience is varied and spans boutique agency recruitment, management consulting, and marketing.

Ali will focus on developing organizational capabilities around attracting, closing, and retaining top talent. She will work closely with companies to help them build their employer brand and leverage best-in-class sourcing practices. We believe a team’s ability to hire the right talent for their stage is one of the most significant predictors of success, and bringing on Ali is our commitment to helping founders develop that muscle.

Three Things About Alison

  1. In her global role running Talent at Ritual, Ali operated in seven time zones on any given day.
  2. During her time in consulting, she was on the team that rebranded Walmart and developed the now famous “spark” in the logo!
  3. Her secret party trick is the ability to write full-speed in backwards mirror writing Leonardo Da Vinci-style.

Find her on LinkedIn.

Julia Baird — Operations Associate

Julia joins us to lead Operations and Founder Impact at Golden Ventures. She leverages her program management, operations, and finance background to drive real impact post-investment.

Julia has experience working with startups, venture capitalists, and Fortune 500 Companies in Canada, Australia, England, and Germany. Before joining Golden, Julia was the Programs Manager at NEXT Canada, leading the design, planning, and execution of the Next 36, Next AI, and Next Founders Programs. In Australia, she worked with socially-conscious startups to develop their go-to-market strategies, campaigns, and domestic expansion ambitions. In addition, Julia has worked with BDC’s IT Venture Fund and Women In Tech Fund and is a proud Included VC alum.

Julia’s interactions with founders will be impactful, both directly and indirectly. As a fund, we’ve already made significant investments in our platform, and we’re looking to Julia to help scale these initiatives. She will also be launching net new processes, products and events to foster connectivity, leveraging our collective networks and delivering the playbooks that help early-stage companies scale.

Three Things About Julia

  1. Julia is an alumnus of Included VC, a venture capital fellowship that gives 40 global fellows education and insider access to Europe’s top VCs and their portfolio companies.
  2. She loves learning new languages and has studied French, German, and Spanish, and she has recently started learning Polish.
  3. Julia loves heights and has skydived in Australia, paraglided in Austria, parasailed in Hawaii, and most recently scaled the Buffalo Crag at Rattlesnake Point.

Find her on LinkedIn.

Emma Cumuric — Senior Analyst

Emma is a Senior Analyst on the Investment Team at Golden Ventures. She supports deal sourcing, due diligence, and portfolio management and covers companies across all industries.

Before joining Golden Ventures, Emma was an Associate at RBC Ventures. She helped drive innovation at Canada’s largest financial institution through investment thesis development and strategic investments related to B2B and Healthcare software. Emma has experience working at iGan Partners, a healthcare-focused Venture Capital firm, and also worked as a Research Analyst at the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging.

Emma is foundational in helping us understand and diligence companies, but she also plays an important role for founders. During the diligence process, her work helps deepen entrepreneurs’ understanding of their markets, providing clarity and structure around how they construct their narratives. In addition, Emma supports founders post-investment by assisting them in thinking through their financial model, developing KPIs, and more.

Three Things About Emma

  1. Emma loves to travel and experience new cultures and had the chance to study abroad in Vienna, Austria.
  2. She once worked in a biorepository, filling cryo freezers with -190C liquid nitrogen and helping to store over 5 million biological samples.
  3. Emma is a self-proclaimed foodie and is on the hunt for the best croissant in Toronto.

Find her on LinkedIn.

See you on the other side, Taylor, Ana and Tarun!

Taylor Wilson Sipkema, Ana Lopez and Tarun Sachdeva

We’re excited to congratulate some of our former colleagues, Taylor, Ana and Tarun, on their next adventures!

During our diligence of Powered By People, Taylor Wilson remarked that she could see herself working for that company. Always determined to follow through, she has joined the Business Operations team, reporting directly to the CEO. Not surprisingly, the PBP team has already benefitted from her wide range of skills. Watch this company and Taylor for exciting announcements in the future!

Ana Lopez joined Golden Ventures following stints in operations at SnapCommerce and Freshbooks. Her talent was evident from the jump, but it was her humour, off-beat culinary recommendations, and power hikes we will miss the most. Ana’s next step in her career journey is to attend the University of Pennsylvania, where she will complete her MBA at the Wharton School and an MA at the Lauder Institute for International Studies.

Last but not least, we’re excited to see a long-time friend of the fund, and former EIR, Tarun Sachdeva, take the entrepreneurial plunge in starting a web3 product studio. This model is a perfect substrate for him to channel his creativity and passion into solving real problems on nascent platforms. We’re excited to be partnering with him on his new endeavour!

We’re thrilled to bring these new additions to our team and bring net new capabilities to our firm. The addition of Ali, Julia, and Emma is made possible by our ever-supportive LPs and portfolio companies. We can’t wait to see how Golden’s newest team members will elevate our fund to new heights.

We’re always searching for great talent for the companies we back. If you or someone you know is interested in working at a portfolio company, check out our job page at Golden Ventures.



Ameet Shah
Golden Ventures

Partner @goldenventures. Prev: GM @zynga, Founder @fivemobile (acq’d)