It's All About Ownership
Fueling the The Stacks Foundation supports the mission of a user owned internet through Stacks-related governance, research and development, education, and grants.
What we do
Governance
The Stacks Foundation is the home for governance of Blockstack's open-source technology, serving as neutral ground for various parties to come together and reach consensus on the path forward.
Research
We support independent researchers, contributors, and collaborators to help build a better user owned internet through research and development.
Education
We provide tools to educate new users and developers about Blockstack technology. We support the educational resources and forums to share knowledge, like events and community meetups.
Grants
We create new avenues for innovation through funding research, ecosystem development, and developer incentives.
Who we are
Stacks Foundation Board
Zavain is driven by smart software, leveraging data and machine intelligence to scale, augment, and balance human intelligence.

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Meltem Demirors
Meltem Demirors is Chief Strategy Officer of CoinShares and serves as a trusted partner to investors and entrepreneurs navigating the digital asset ecosystem.

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Rodolfo is fascinated by financial disintermediation, peer-to-peer funding, and bringing transparency and simplicity to the consumer experience.

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Meltem Demirors
Meltem Demirors is Chief Strategy Officer of CoinShares, a digital asset investment firm that manages $4B in assets on behalf of a global client base, and serves as a trusted partner to investors and entrepreneurs navigating the digital asset ecosystem.

An established veteran of digital asset investing, Meltem draws on her substantial experience and widespread influence to accelerate growth and acceptance of the asset class. Prior to joining CoinShares, Meltem helped build and grow Digital Currency Group, raising capital from the world’s largest corporations and managing a portfolio of 120 companies and 4 subsidiaries. Before she was bitten by the bitcoin bug, Meltem worked in the Oil & Gas industry in trading, corporate treasury, and M&A roles.

Meltem has been recognized for her personal contributions to the industry and serves as an outspoken advocate. She is a founding member and co-chair of the World Economic Forum Cryptocurrency Council and testified before the House Financial Services Committee on the importance of bitcoin. 

Meltem teaches at her alma mater MIT as well as Oxford, and is passionate about privacy and civil rights.

Zavain Dar
Zavain is driven by smart software, leveraging data and machine intelligence to scale, augment, and balance human intelligence. He invests in companies that are using machine learning and AI to augment or replace physical-world functions including biology, language, manufacturing and analysis. He looks for entrepreneurs that can use software and data to hone a philosophical position on where the world is, and how to direct it for the better.

Zavain has led Lux's investments in Primer, a machine intelligence startup; Clarifai, which democratizes cutting edge deep neural networks; Auransa, which is developing novel medicines based on computational insight applied to genomic data; Recursion which uses automation and deep learning to develop drugs for rare diseases; Tempo Automation, which applies software and automation to electronics manufacturing; Rigetti Computing, which is fabricating some of the fastest quantum chips in the world; Visla, which is bringing AI to medical diagnostics; Visor, which aims to simplify tax preparation; Computable Labs, which is building a decentralized data marketplace; Blockstack, which builds architectures to decentralize current winner-take-all centralized web components; and Runway, which is putting machine learning tools into the hands of creators.

Previously Zavain was an investor at Eric Schmidt's Innovation Endeavors. There he sourced and led the firm's investments in early stage technology companies including Zymergen and BlockStream. Zavain drafted the firm's theses in Genetics, Synthetic Biology, and the Blockchain.

Prior to VC, Zavain was a founder and computer scientist. At Discovery Engine (acquired by Twitter), he engineered machine learning and AI systems across a proprietary distributed computing framework to build web scale-ranking algorithms. Zavain was also a cofounder of Fountainhop, one of the first hyper-local social networks.

Zavain holds a BS in symbolic systems and an MS in computer science from Stanford where he was a researcher in Stanford's AI Lab. He is currently a Lecturer at Stanford and has taught quarter long
seminars in Cryptocurrencies, Artificial Intelligence and Philosophy, and Venture Capital. Current course notes can be found here.
Rodolfo Gonzalez
Rodolfo is fascinated by financial disintermediation, peer-to-peer funding, and bringing transparency and simplicity to the consumer experience. As a kid, he wanted to be a professional soccer player or movie actor; but he grew into an adult with a passion for promoting economic growth and inclusion through innovation in financial services.

When Rodolfo was 17, he co-founded his first startup, Mexplosion, to host the Mexican qualifiers for the World Cyber Games e-gaming competition in 2001. His second and more recent entrepreneurial venture was a crowdfunding platform for social enterprises called YouVest.

Rodolfo has an MBA from MIT Sloan's School of Management, with concentrations in finance and entrepreneurship, and degrees in Marketing from ITESM and International Relations from UNAM Mexico.

Rodolfo geeks out on movies, philosophy, history, travel and coffee. He is an avid traveler, and has lived in Mexico City, North Carolina, Orlando, Melbourne (Australia), Boston, Nairobi, and Bangkok. He is now based in San Francisco, where he is on a quest to find the best espresso in the city.
Stacks Foundation Team
Brittany Laughlin is the Executive Director of the Stacks Foundation. She's spent the last decade working at the intersection of community, capital, and internet collaboration.

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Jude has a PhD in distributed systems from Princeton University, is a 6-year veteran of Blockstack PBC, and has been a leader in the development of the Stacks blockchain

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Jenny Mith
Jenny brings a rich base of community development and program management experience to the Stacks Foundation. She previously ran community growth efforts at Hiro PBC (fka Blockstack PBC) before joining the Stacks Foundation where she runs the Grants program as well as various community iniatives.
Mitchell Cuevas
Mitchell is the Head of Growth for the Stacks Foundation, joining after 3 years at Blockstack PBC/Hiro and a career in the world of startups including being an early employee at Startup Weekend as well as Product and Marketing roles at Techstars.
Raffi Sapire
Raffi joins the Foundation as a Grants Advisor contractor to support the launch of the Stacks Grants program, serve on the Grants review committee as an independent advisor and to work on growth of community involvement in ecosystem development.

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Emily Patel
Emily Patel is the Communications Associate for the Stacks Foundation. She creates content including blogs, tweets, and newsletters, keeping the Stacks community updated on the latest happenings aroung the ecosystem. 

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Jude Nelson
Dr. Jude Nelson joins the Stacks Foundation from Blockstack PBC, where he worked for over 6 years on the design and implementation of Blockstack's decentralized naming and storage systems. Before this, Jude received his PhD in Computer Science from Princeton University where he studied wide-area distributed storage systems under Larry Peterson. During his PhD program, Jude worked as a core member of PlanetLab, a research testbed that received the ACM Test of Time Award for enabling planetary scale experimentation and deployment. He has received nearly $4 million in research grants, and his systems have been deployed across dozens of universities.
Louise Ivan
Dr. Jude Nelson joins the Stacks Foundation from Blockstack PBC, where he worked for over 6 years on the design and implementation of Blockstack's decentralized naming and storage systems. Before this, Jude received his PhD in Computer Science from Princeton University where he studied wide-area distributed storage systems under Larry Peterson. During his PhD program, Jude worked as a core member of PlanetLab, a research testbed that received the ACM Test of Time Award for enabling planetary scale experimentation and deployment. He has received nearly $4 million in research grants, and his systems have been deployed across dozens of universities.
Emily Patel
Emily Patel is the Communications Associate for the Stacks Foundation. She creates content including blogs, tweets, and newsletters, keeping the Stacks community updated on the latest happenings aroung the ecosystem. 

Before joining the Stacks Foundation, Emily was a writer/editor for Just SEO, providing web optimized copy about financial matters such as mortgages and insurance. This inspired her to learn more about cryptocurrency and its benefits. 

She studied English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham, and did a Linguistics MA at Kings College London. She focused on the language used in the media and the impact language choices could have, which encouraged her to go into communications to put what she learned into practice. 

Through her work experience, Emily developed an interest in non-profit organizations. She's keen to get involved with emerging technologies and work with a team that supports projects which contribute to a user owned internet.
Brittany Laughlin
Brittany Laughlin is the Managing Director of the Stacks Foundation. She's spent the last decade working at the intersection of community, capital, and internet collaboration.

Over the past five years she's worked in the blockchain industry as an operator and venture investor. Most recently working at Blockstack PBC to help conduct the first US-qualified Reg A offering, grow the Blockstack ecosystem in Asia, and create partnerships to further access to STX.

Prior to joining Blockstack PBC, Laughlin worked at Union Square Ventures. She got involved in the development of Web 3 through work with Coinbase, Blockstack, IPFS, Mediachain, and OpenBazaar. In 2016, Laughlin co-founded her own VC firm, Lattice Ventures, which focused on network effect businesses. Lattice Ventures is in investor in a number of blockchain companies, including Blockstack, Filecoin, SOV Global, and Stronghold.

Laughlin's previous work MongoDB, StackOverflow, Twilio, and Firebase provide great lessons for supporting Blockstack's open-source technology and developer communities.

Laughlin is an adjunct professor at Cornell Law School, teaching about blockchain. A serial entrepreneur, she's built 3 companies, including gtrot which sold to Groupon.
Jenny Mitch
Ryan joins as the Stacks Ecosystem Steward to empower members toward collaborative success and to act as an advocate for all types of community stakeholders. Since early 2019 Ryan has served in the Stacks Ecosystem, first as a Support Specialist during the Blockstack 2019 SEC qualified token offering and then as a full Community Support Partner over the past year.

Ryan has spent over a decade focused on the convergence of social impact on media, technology and community across diverse industries including video gaming, non-profit, technology, health care, farming, and the arts. Ryan's career has included supporting game developers with the International Game Developers' Association to Community and Social Media Lead on numerous entertainment projects. A trained educator, he is passionate about supporting a user-owned internet for all people, everywhere.

You can find Ryan on Discord @ry4n.
Raffi Sapire
Raffi joins the Foundation as a Grants Advisor contractor to support the launch of the Stacks Grants program, serve on the Grants review committee as an independent advisor and to work on growth of community involvement in ecosystem development.

Raffi is a crypto native entrepreneur. Most recently she was VP Operations of Livepeer, where she stood up the marketing, finance, developer evangelism, and operations functions. There she designed and scaled the community grants program, awarding up to $50,000 per month. Raffi has spent the better part of her career as an investor and an advocate for entrepreneurship through her work at Blue Seed VC and Acumen.

You can find Raffi on Discord @rsap.
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