Meet the team
Staff & Board
Natasha thrives working in the intersection between community building and economic development. Currently, she supports high-growth entrepreneurs in Colorado Springs and is committed to building up the entrepreneurial ecosystem there and across the state by creating bridges for innovators to access opportunities to help make their dreams an economic reality. She earned her BA in Economics and International Studies from Rhodes College in Memphis TN.
Natasha cares deeply about the communities she is a part of and is active throughout Colorado Springs. In her spare time, Natasha unleashes her creativity through ceramics, home projects, cooking, and learning about placemaking.
Rachael Maxwell is excited to engage with the startup community. Before coming to XI, Rachael worked at Innovations in Aging Collaborative, where she helped implement the Age Friendly Colorado Springs Plan. Prior to that, she worked at the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC supporting the communication and government affairs departments.
Rachael graduated as a member of Phi Beta Kappa from Colorado College with a degree in history-political science and a minor in French. In her free time, Rachael enjoys playing Ultimate Frisbee and baking.
Prakhar Gautam recently graduated with a Biochemistry degree from Colorado College, and joined XI to work closely with the startup community of Colorado Springs. At XI, he is focused on coordinating our larger programs, the XI Accelerator and XI Amplify. Previously, Prakhar helped develop the incubator program for Peak Startup, and assisted with coordinating their events. He is also a founder of his own startup, Infinite Chemistry.
Prakhar has experience as a chemistry tutor as well as a chemistry researcher, and intends to continue his career in research that involves working with materials science. He has recently been working on a way to change how pharmaceutical drugs are made through the use of electric fields.
While not at XI, Prakhar enjoys biking around Colorado Springs’s trails, gaming, and doing woodwork.
Leif was the vice president of engineering for the KidReports division of Procare Software. Prior to that, he was the CEO and co-founder of KidReports, a SaaS platform for childcare providers that connects parents and child care centers in real time. KidReports was acquired by Procare in late 2017. Leif also serves on the board of Peak Startup, a local non-profit focused on advancing entrepreneurial and startup growth in the Pikes Peak Region, and is active in mentoring and advising local technology focused startups. He holds a bachelor’s of science in computer science from the University of Colorado and an MBA from the University of Denver.
Bryan is passionate about the Colorado Springs community and helping local tech companies become as successful as our scenery. At XI, he mentors those that have been accepted into XI’s programs (as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence).
Bryan founded Oscium, a hardware technology company, over 10 years ago. Oscium is in the business of making wi-fi awesome, and it has won a number of awards, including an R&D 100, one of the 100 most technologically significant products. In addition, Bryan helps mid-sized companies with expense reduction and financial guidance (as a controller / CFO). Hs also serves on the Elder Board of local church, Austin Bluffs EV Free Church.
Bryan lives on a 5-acre hobby farm with ~80 animals. Bryan and his wife of 13 years have three wonderful kids: Adalyn (age 6), Brayden (age 4) and Colson (age 1).
Aaron is a graduate from Pikes Peak Community College and received entrepreneurial education through the completion of YC start up school as well as from real life experiences as a tech start up founder. He is a Colorado Springs native. Through his experience as a startup founder his eyes where opened to the immense number of opportunities to learn and grow from the resources available in the springs. Prior to joining XI, Aaron was an innovation consultant for the Quad. He participated in two semesters; completing a proposal and creating tools that the City of Colorado Springs can use in its future developments.
Aaron has recently been looking for applications for DoD technology that he was paired from the FedTech and NSIN DIA (Defense Innovation Accelerator) with the potential of forming a company at the end of the cohort.
During his free time Aaron enjoys fishing, listening to music, and hanging out with his friends and family
Walker Martin is a rising senior at Colorado College where he studies mathematical economics and competes for the Men’s Swim team. Walker grew up in Boulder, Colorado, and is excited for the chance to contribute to start-ups in a local community. Prior to joining Exponential Impact, Walker was working at a small coffee shop and taking classes at the Tuck Business Bridge Program at Dartmouth. He gained exposure to concepts in finance, strategy, and marketing which solidified his interest in running a business. Walker wants to help change the world one day through either entrepreneurship, or economic policy.
In his free time, Walker enjoys trading stocks, creating media, reading economic history, and spending time with friends.
Andre Dufresne is a Senior at Colorado College studying economics and statistics. He is very
excited to be working with Exponential Impact and is looking forward to engaging with the
Colorado Springs’ business and startup communities. Prior to joining Exponential Impact, Andre
was an intern for The Quad Innovation Partnership where he assisted in researching and
proposing mental health and suicide prevention programming for the Children’s Hospital of
Colorado. Andre is passionate about education and is interested in working in Ed-Tech after
In his free time Andre enjoys reading, running and cooking with friends, listening to music and
Exponential Impact Board
Vance has over 20 years of experience as the CEO of both public and private software technology innovation companies. Currently, Vance is Chairman of the Board and Co-founder of Cherwell Software. Previously, Vance was CEO of Cherwell from its inception in 2004 until 2016. In 2015, Cherwell was recognized as the top software company in all of Colorado. Formerly, Vance was President and CEO of GoldMine® Software, which at the time was rated as one of the top 100 software companies in the United States.
Through the years, Vance has gained much experience in all types of venture funding, and has raised hundreds of millions of dollars from organizations such as Insight Venture Partners and KKR. Vance is passionate about mentoring entrepreneurs who want to thrive and make positive change in the world. Vance actively mentors all the startups in XI programs.
Among other honors, Goldman Sachs honored Vance by naming him one of the top 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs of 2017. Vance graduated summa cum laude and a member of Phi Beta Kappa from Wake Forest University, with degrees in Economics and Computer Science, and then from the University of North Carolina School of Law with honors.
Betsy is Co-Founder of The Classical Academy, the largest Colorado charter school with over 3,500 students K-12. She then became the Director of Character and Culture for this school, which has been rated as the top high school in Colorado. Betsy specialized in developing character curriculum for students and teachers, overseeing mentorship programs, and creating a healthy culture for students and teachers using a positive psychology framework. Formerly, Betsy was a therapist in private practice, and has expertise in how to create healthy and positive team dynamics.
Betsy is passionate about helping people thrive and flourish in life. Betsy is a regular mentor at Exponential Impact. During the Accelerator program, Betsy leads a Mindfulness Monday for the startups.
Betsy graduated cum laude from Wake Forest University with a degree in English, and then from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a M.Ed. in counseling. Through the years, Betsy has completed conflict resolution and mediation training from the Colorado Bar Association, Restorative Justice training through the RJ Council of Colorado, The Science of Happiness course through Berkeley’s Greater Good Science center, Birkman assessment certification, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) training, Myers-Briggs certification, StrengthsFinder, and is in the process of completing yoga teacher certification through Yogafit.
Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers appointed Jeff Greene Chief of Staff and Chief Administrative
Officer for the City of Colorado Springs in May 2015.
Jeff is originally from Thomaston, Georgia. He attended the University of Tennessee where he studied economics and finance, and received a commission in the United Stated Army upon graduation. Military service brought him to Colorado where he remained, working in the banking and health insurance industries after separating from the Army.
In 2001 Jeff began his career in local government service at El Paso County. During his 14 years there he served as the County Administrator from 2006-2015, and was honored in 2011 as the Pikes Peak region Public Official of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development Corporation.
Jeff is currently serving on the boards of directors for the National Cybersecurity Center, the Colorado
Springs Sports Corporation, the Pikes Peak Workforce Development Board, the Chamber and EDC, and the United Way of the Pikes Peak Region. He is a member of the Regional Leadership Forum and University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Ambassadors.
Jeff has lived in Colorado Springs since 1995. He enjoys golf, reading, history and the quality of life in Pikes Peak Region with his wife, Nancy.
Kyle Hybl currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer for El Pomar Foundation and General Counsel for The Garden City Company. He joined El Pomar Foundation in 2000, and served as Chief Operating Officer from 2013 – 2019. Kyle is Chairman Emeritus of the University of Colorado System, a board he served on from 2007-2018. In 2018, Kyle was appointed as a member of the Air Force Civic Leaders Program. Kyle currently serves as Chairman of Police Foundation of Colorado Springs and Corporate Secretary for Junior Achievement, USA. He also serves on the Boards of Directors for American Council of Young Political Leaders, Broadmoor World Arena, Employers Council, Exponential Impact and National Cybersecurity Center.
Kyle earned a B.A. and Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He is a former Air Force Captain and Judge Advocate.
Chris Jenkins is President at Nor’wood Development Group. With more than 40 years of experience in real estate and land development in the Pikes Peak Region, Nor’wood is the largest locally owned development firm in Southern Colorado. They have successfully created a variety of notable places and destinations including the Nor’wood, Wolf Ranch and Mesa Ridge master planned communities, First & Main Town Center, Interquest Marketplace, four new apartment communities and most recently the purchase of the Banning Lewis Ranch east of Colorado Springs. In downtown Colorado Springs, Plaza of the Rockies and Alamo Corporate Center are two of their more prominent assets. Chris led the effort “City for Champions”, an ambitious $250M revitalization and economic development project for the City of Colorado Springs that includes developing the United States Olympic Museum, a Downtown Stadium and Event Center, a Sports Medicine and Performance Center at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs and a new visitor center at the United States Air Force Academy.
More than a developer, Chris is a builder of community. He dedicates much of his energy to leading and supporting a Downtown Renaissance where the heart of the city realizes its potential as a thriving urban neighborhood with dense living, unique retail, entertainment venues and places of employment that are essential to elevate the entire vitality of the city. The cornerstone to Chris’ business philosophy is to engage in community organizations with the aim of elevating our community’s “pride quotient”. He wholeheartedly believes that a community enriched with the arts, active young professionals and a strong local government will ensure a prosperous future for generations to come.
Chris is also President of the Nor’wood Foundation, which serves as the company’s philanthropic organization focusing on youth, the elderly, arts and culture in the Pikes Peak region.
Prior to joining Nor’wood, Chris was Director of Finance for a Denver real estate investment firm where he managed the ongoing financing for retail properties in multiple states. He earned his Bachelors of Science degree in Business Administration, Finance and Real Estate from the University of Denver.
He is married to Sharon and has two teenage boys, Nicholas and Nolan. The Jenkins family can often be found on foot, bikes and skis, enjoying Colorado’s great outdoors.
Lisa co-founded Intelligent Software Solutions, an international software analytics company that is headquartered in Colorado Springs and now called Polaris Alpha, a Parsons Company. She earned bachelor’s of science and master’s in science in computer science at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. Lisa has more than 25 years of experience in applied research in artificial intelligence, data analysis and visualization.
Hannah is a perpetual starter, builder and grower of business. She is a natural connector with a strong commitment to the entrepreneurial community. She has worked in financial services, real estate, community and economic development. Hannah served as CEO for XI from 2017-2019, and is currently Chief Revenue Officer for Barnowl, and XI Alum. Barnowl participated in the 2018 XI Accelerator, as well as XI Amplify. Hannah also co-founded Epicentral Coworking in Downtown Colorado Springs and has served the startup community in numerous volunteer roles.
Hannah earned her BSBA in international business and management and her MBA with a concentration in entrepreneurship. She is an avid reader, sun lover and paddle boarder. XI is a mashup of Hannah’s diverse career history and interests. It perpetuates her passion for business and community, and fuels her love of learning. Hannah is a newly minted cryptocurrency hobbyist and student of new technologies.
Dr. Emily L. Spratt is an arts and AI academic and consultant based in Manhattan. Currently a fellow in the Data Science Institute at Columbia University, Emily is examining the philosophical, ethical, and legal implications of AI-enhanced technologies—particularly from the field of computer vision—for the analysis and curation of art and architecture, and the corporate use of digital images more broadly. With international experience as a strategic advisor in the art market and the museum and cultural heritage sector, Emily combines her love of art, culture, and emergent technologies with her honed business world instincts, and brings humanities-rooted perspectives to corporate governance. Emily completed a Ph.D. and an M.A. at Princeton University and also holds an M.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a B.A. from Cornell University. Trained as a Byzantine and Renaissance art specialist, Emily has lived and traveled all over Europe for her research, and has taught undergraduate and graduate art history in addition to cultural heritage and technology courses.
Emily has been the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards from the Onassis Foundation, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, the Cini Foundation in Venice, the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institution, the American Research Center in Sofia, Bulgaria, the Hellenic Ministry of Culture, The Frick Collection and Art Reference Library, and the universities from where she holds degrees. She is on the digital and multimedia advisory board of the Renaissance Society of America, and is a consultant for The Frick Collection and Art Reference Library and a steering committee member of the museum’s Scholars’ Advisory Group. Additionally, Emily is on the advisory board of the Artificial Intelligence Finance Institute (AIFI) of New York, is the ethics advisor of Iconem, and is the art and AI advisor of Ethical Tech at Duke University. Emily is an advisor for the Defense Innovation Accelerator, which is part of the National Security Innovation Network under the United States Department of Defense. Emily is also on the ICOMOS committee readdressing the ethical principles for the recording of cultural heritage sites and monuments for UNESCO, and is on a cybersecurity committee for the IEEE Standards Association. Previously, Emily was the strategic advisor for the Berlin- and New York-based art market firm Artory, which she helped pivot into a blockchain-based company. In New York, Emily is actively involved with the investment community.
At age 16, Emily created her first business, Java Woman’s, a successful to-go coffee and muffin shop in rural Connecticut; today, her insights on art, AI, ethics, and society are sought internationally, and by news outlets such as the Washington Post and CBS News.