Human Ventures
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Human Ventures

Derek Handley Joins Human Ventures

As Human Ventures Acquires Aera XY Innovation Lab

Derek Handley and Heather Hartnett at Human Ventures in Union Square, New York. (Photo Credit: Timothy Knight)

We are excited to announce today that social innovation visionary Derek Handley will be joining our team as Chief Innovation Officer. With Derek’s joining, Human Ventures will also acquire Aera XY, a startup studio Derek and Raul Oaida co-founded to focus on building social-impact companies. Derek, who also started the global leadership initiative B Team with Richard Branson, has joined us to help formalize our company-building process and scale Human’s portfolio of industry-leading companies.

Inventor and Founder, Raul Oaida (Photo Credit: Mashable)

Aera XY co-founder, Raul Oaida, a 22-year old rocket scientist and mechanical engineer hailing from Transylvania, Romania, will also join Human Ventures to launch its first consumer product this summer. (See a few of Raul’s incredible inventions here!)

Derek has a global track record of transforming visionary ideas into scalable, impactful organizations. He has a keen ability to map out entrepreneurial responses to today’s societal and business challenges. “At Human Ventures, we’re gathering insights and looking for solutions with the potential to better the lives of a billion people or tap into marketshare of over $1 billion. At the same time, Human focuses on developing our founders so they can become the most exceptional, effective Humans they are capable of being. I look forward to joining and working alongside this forward-thinking team,” says Derek.

As noted by our CEO, Heather Hartnett, “Company creation is evolving and becoming more sophisticated. The bar is much higher for entrepreneurs (first-time or repeat) to prove out a business to the point of early traction. Investing capital early is no longer enough to provide an out-sized advantage; we think the next wave of company creation and a natural evolution within early-stage venture is to combine exceptional ideas with talented founding teams, access to capital and a powerful network. We are fortunate to be able to align with industry luminaries like Derek and offer his insight and hands-on attention to our portfolio.”

Up next Derek and his team will be focused on identifying new opportunities alongside talented entrepreneurs creating a large impact in the world.

About Human Ventures:
Human Ventures is a startup studio based in New York City building the next generation of industry changing businesses by being the world’s best co-founder. Part company builder, part investor, Human Ventures brings together great ideas, talent, capital and an unparalleled network to set founders up for success. Human Ventures investors include Joe Marchese, President, Advertising at FOX Networks Group, Chris Sacca, Lowercase Capital, Beth Comstock, Vice Chair of General Electric and Howard Morgan, Co-Founder of First Round Capital and Board Director at Idealab, among others.




This is where we share all the latest news and thinking from Human Ventures, with articles about our startups, our studio, and our approach to company-building.

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Human Ventures

Human Ventures

Human Ventures is a business creation platform. We go beyond the business model and seek opportunities to build Model Businesses with ambitious founders.

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