FOUNDER | Investor | SPEAKER
Kristen Koh Goldstein co-manages the direct private investments for AthenaPartners, her family office. She is also the Co-Founder and Executive Chairwoman of HireAthena and an Advisor (formerly CFO) to AngelList, both portfolio companies. Other investments in the portfolio have included Salesforce, Twitter, Anaplan, Jet.com, Blue Bottle Coffee, August Home and many others.
Driven by her own need, Kristen started BackOps (now HireAthena) in 2010 to enable skilled moms to work from home while their young children are at school. In 2013 with institutional backing from several investors including Sherpa Capital, eVentures, Google Ventures, and HVF Labs, the company was able to build the software (Scalus) to scale the business nationally, creating an all-in-one back office solution for SMEs, high-growth startups, and family offices around the globe powered by a distributed workforce of stay-at-home moms supported by a world-class workflow engine to automate process and communication. HireAthena became one of Inc. Magazine’s fastest growing companies in America.
Kristen is a fierce advocate of both the entrepreneurs working around the clock to bring positive change to the world and the operators supporting them to make it all possible. She believes so much in this mission that she has spent the last two decades investing and advising dozens of early stage companies.
Kristen's passion as an operator investor is to help promising companies to clear the growth stage from 20 - 50 employees (Series A/B) when startups must transition from maniacally building and scaling a product, to building a cross-functional team, a wildly different skill set. Ironically, precisely what made a homogenous team successful from 0 - 20 will often drive the team to fail from 20 - 50 because the need to quickly consolidate diverse, dissenting opinion is really hard. Sadly, many extraordinary startups fail to cross this chasm -- the blinders caused by sexism, racism and/or agism is paralyzing.
Prior to HireAthena, Kristen managed the software investments for a fund at Goldman Sachs and was an investment analyst for Credit Suisse covering infrastructure software. She was also the CFO of Loyalty Lab (now Tibco) and Director Finance of Epinions (now eBay), where she developed a deep expertise in financial operations.
Kristen, educated at Cornell (BS) and Harvard (MBA), is a mother of three who was motivated to start BackOps (now HireAthena) not only to create flexible work schedules for moms, but also to provide effective back office services to SMEs, startups, and family offices. Kristen is passionate about empowering women in business and life.
Kristen In The News
the hardest part of raising capital
Presented at Rise Conference 2017
the workplace revolution
As we enter the age of mobile, social networking and digital technology explosion, how are enterprises integrating these elements into the modern workforce. What is the further significance in terms of workplace automation, integration and communication?
Presented at Rise Conference 2017
10 Things That Change When You Stop Bootstrapping
You’ve finally done it – you received that big round of funding and you’re ready to say goodbye to your cash-starved bootstrapping days. But with all this new capital comes several hard truths you’ll have to face.
Presented at SaaStr 2016