Claire is an experienced executive, early-stage investor, and startup leader. She works with national and international economic development entities to build meaningful startup investing communities, based upon proven strategies and best practices. She also serves as a Partner with Portfolia Venture Funds and is a Lead Investor for Portfolia's FemTech Fund.
From 2014 to 2019, she was the chief executive of Central Texas Angel Network (CTAN), one of the largest, most active angel investing groups in the U.S. with 200 members and $108M invested in 174 startups since 2006. As CTAN's longest-serving executive, she developed the organization into an international model of angel investing best practices. Under her leadership, CTAN members invested $14M annually into 40-50 companies with professional due diligence and a group return significantly higher than the national average. For the first time in its history, CTAN was ranked as the #1 most-active angel investing group nationally during her tenure.
Prior to CTAN, she developed international startup ecosystem strategy for clients such as SXSW Interactive, Tech Ranch, St. Edward's University, and Hamburg Startups. Claire was also Executive Director of the RISE conference; under her leadership, RISE became a Forbes national "Must-Attend 2013 Conference for Entrepreneurs." She spent the first 10 years of her career directing charitable nonprofits' communications, events, and fundraising programs and was subsequently the first full-time employee for a social media services startup, spurring her passion for entrepreneurship.
Claire is a public speaker, panelist, and pitch judge for global innovation conferences. She serves on St. Edward's University's Business School Board of Advisors and volunteers as a mentor at startup accelerators, including Techstars and MassChallenge. In 2018, she received the Kauffman Fellows Leadership Award. She was also a 2013 Finalist for Austin Business Journal’s Profiles in Power Award.
Education, Personal, and Fellowship
Claire is a cum laude graduate of Texas State University with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication and public Relations, and a minor in music (cello and vocal performance).
A member of Class 21, Claire served her fellowship at Central Texas Angel Network under the mentorship of CTAN board member Rosa McCormick (Class 18). She is a mentor to Class 23 member Andrew Vranjes.