Creativity is combinatorial – it builds on existing ideas to evolve something altogether new. 645 Ventures has attracted individuals with expert backgrounds into a team that clearly sees the invisible promise of each outstanding founder – and then works tirelessly to make it reality.
Co-founder & General Partner
Nnamdi is driven by his desire to help entrepreneurs build industry-leading companies by balancing entrepreneurial vision and creativity with strong business fundamentals and rigorous preparation. He’s an experienced venture capital investor who spent eight years at Insight Venture Partners where he sourced and invested in successful companies including Folhamatic (acquired for $300 million), Mimecast (NASDAQ IPO: MIME), Astaro (acquired by Sophos), Privalia (acquired by Vente-Privee),and Hitwise (acquired for $240 million).
In 2014, Nnamdi partnered with Aaron Holiday to found 645 Ventures – an innovative venture capital firm that pioneers a metrics driven approach to Growth Seed investing. He brings a thoughtful, disciplined rigor and is inspired by the visionary founders he meets.
Nnamdi is actively engaged with each of our portfolio companies, particularly as they require advice and assistance preparing their due diligence and financial analysis for raising new rounds. He has served on the boards of Kabum, CSSN and Folhamatic and is currently serves on the board of Rifiniti.
Nnamdi received a BA in Biology (Cum Laude Honors), as well as an MBA (Second-Year Honors) and JD (Cum Laude Honors) from Harvard.
Co-founder & General Partner
Aaron combines several years of deep technology expertise, having developed advanced equity trading software and derivative systems at Goldman Sachs and GFI Group, with operational experience working with early stage founders and CEOs to build high growth companies. As the first Managing Entrepreneurial Officer at Cornell Tech, he has been instrumental in pioneering the campus’ startup and Studio Culture and shepherding deep technology startups toward commercial success. Aaron built his venture investment experience working directly with the Managing Directors at Gotham Ventures and has been mentored by some of the world’s leading venture capital investors.
As a founding partner of 645 Ventures, Aaron teamed up with Nnamdi Okike to build a premier venture capital firm that is instrumental in moving seed stage founders to competitive Series A rounds and beyond. He notably led 645 Ventures investments in FLY Labs (acquired by Google), Nanit, Goldbely, FiscalNote, and several others.
Aaron received a BS in Computer Science (Cum Laude Honors) from Morehouse College and an MBA from Cornell University.
Vice President & Head of Story
Dessy brings a rare balance of reason and creativity, enabling her to make investment decisions that are driven in equal measure by logic and vision. A life-long geek, Dessy is passionate about nascent technology and is eagerly waiting for the future to become more evenly distributed. She is doing her part by specializing in VR/AR, most recently leading 645 Ventures’ Series A investment in LittlStar.
Dessy spent fifteen years as a creative director, acquiring a deep understanding of the digital consumer mindset while leading marketing initiatives for Colgate Palmolive, Gerber, Century 21, Mall of America, and A&E, as well as for grass-roots viral campaigns in entertainment. She now deploys her storytelling experience to assist portfolio companies by creating strategic narratives that empower fundraising, customer acquisition, and hiring. She currently serves on the advisory board of Storyverse and is actively gathering, connecting, and enabling storytelling in the VR space.
Dessy received her BA and MA from the University of Alberta. Her academic specialization combined Creative Writing, Critical Theory, and Psychology.
CTO in Residence
As a veritable triple threat – software engineer, entrepreneur, and classically-trained musician – Blake clearly thinks out of the box. He balances structure and innovation, enhancing both with top-tier engineering skills. As 645 Ventures’ Engineer in Residence, Blake helped build the software wing of 645 Voyager and currently leads our engineering team as they enhance its algorithmic capabilities.
Blake is also an engineering director at DuckDuckGo and a co-founder of Instinct. He has worked with dozens of startups to build the first version of their products, most recently for DipJar. His technical acumen is enhanced by having worked extensively on the business side of tech startups, serving as Head of Marketing for TicketLeap and as CEO for the companies he founded.
Blake received a B.A. in Social Studies and Mathematics from Harvard University, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa.
Michael is disciplined and methodical, with an innate curiosity and a serious commitment to diligence. As an Analyst at 645 Ventures, he focuses on performing research, due diligence, and deal sourcing.
He has extensive experience with financial modeling and valuation through his roles at Citigroup (as part of their Investor Relations group) and at Bank of America (as an equity research associate).
Michael is a graduate of NYU Stern with a degree in Finance and Accounting.
Engineer in Residence
David is inquisitive, driven, and deeply enthusiastic about a diverse range of subjects – from product-building to basketball to machine learning. He is an Engineering Fellow at 645 Ventures where he works on enhancing the deal intelligence portion of the 645 Voyager platform.
David has previously worked on the Integrations team at Moat, a NY-based ad analytics startup, and Oliver Wyman, as a management consultant in their Financial Services practice.
David received his B.S. in Economics and B.A. in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies from Duke University, and is a graduate of the Fullstack Academy coding immersive.