The team at work

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Greg believes that making a dent in the universe starts with insights rather than mere ideas about how the world could and more importantly should be. When combined with teams that can execute and adapt to setbacks, anything and everything is possible. Funding is just gas in the tank, and good advisory participation is just turbo-charging for a company that is well conceived and crafted.

Greg’s background spans private, public and not-for profit sectors. His work taking his own startup public (Dispatch Management Services) on the Nasdaq is book ended with time at Booz Allen, Promontory, and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve. Leadership time includes working at Outward Bound and the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). Some of the proceeds earned from his early work were spent backing folks in his own startups when they set

out on their own, and this has led to positions in Shift Payments and Grand Junction of late, but Twitter and Square before. Greg has also been an advocate for open and equal access to public data and led a long fight on behalf of 3taps to ensure that firms like Craigslist play fair when it comes to user rights and competition in the marketplace. Philanthropic priorities on Greg’s part are centered on the good work the Electronic Frontier Foundation is doing in the realm of copyright law and the abuse of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).

Going forward, Greg wants to see a world in which seekers and providers can find one another and transact with less and less friction, and a healthy balance between security, privacy and trust. Innovators that blaze a path to this future state of the world catch the attention of Greg and the Hard Yaka team.

Jun Hiraga , Partner

Jun Hiraga is co-founder and CEO of Synthetic Liquidity. Prior to Synthetic Liquidity, Jun was a managing director at two top-tier investment banks (UBS & Merrill Lynch/Bank of America), where he held executive roles managing institutional sales and trading.

He has extensive experience in the capital markets and has had supervisory, regulatory and risk oversight in the financial services sector.

Margaret Slemmer , Partner

Margaret comes from the traditional banking space and has over two decades of experience handling bank-regulatory matters from a variety of perspectives: as a regulator, banker, legal analyst, and consultant. In 2007, Margaret met Greg Kidd at Promontory Financial Group (“Promontory”). Over the following seven years, they worked together on a number of engagements focusing on the safety and soundness issues facing the banks during the mortgage crisis.

More generally, Margaret assisted clients (e.g. banks and fintech companies) with corporate governance, regulatory compliance, and risk management.  She helped clients understand and meet regulatory expectations and respond to examination findings and enforcement actions. Additionally, she spent time conducting investigations regarding global AML-related issues.

Fae Nageon de Lestang , Operations Analyst

Fae’s dynamic background has allowed her to thrive at creative problem solving and working in collaborative team environments. Her experience has spanned from working with public-private partnerships 

to project management of large scale events focused on community outreach and engagement. She is both honored and excited to work with the Hard Yaka Team.


When I started my career at Promontory, I couldn’t have guessed that it would set me up to be a co-founder of Shift today.

After college, I joined Promontory to help open their first foreign office in Tokyo. Trying to start an advisory services business in a place like Japan was full of challenges. But, the challenges lead me to Greg Kidd, a colleague in the SF office. Over the years, we worked together on many assignments, including: risk reporting, transaction monitoring, BSA/AML programs and policies, launching the GreenDot prepaid card, and building data visualization tools for the mortgage foreclosure review.

While working with Greg, I amazingly got a front row seat to some of the most exciting startups in Silicon Valley. Not only had Greg previously taken a company public, but he also introduced me to entrepreneurs who were in the midst of building great companies. In summer 2009, Greg, our co-founders,

and I started a company called, 3taps. The company is currently in operation, but it is in the midst of a CFAA lawsuit with Craigslist. While working on 3taps, Greg and I also started making small, angel investments into early stage companies. For the last few years, we’ve focused our investments in payments and the potential of cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and the Ripple protocol.

In fall 2013, Greg and I teamed up with two of our portfolio companies to create a prototype prepaid card that would allow the cardholder to spend Ripple balances in real time. This decoupled prepaid card was our first proof of concept for the Shift Card. In March 2014, Greg, Eugene Otto, and I applied to Y Combinator with the prototype. In late April we got in, and in early May we incorporated. The past year has been an incredible journey and I’m thrilled to be working with the Shift team. Onwards and upwards!

Diana Adachi , Advisor

Diana Adachi is the CEO of Yaka Labs.

Diana drives transformative and profitable changes for businesses globally. Over the last five years, Diana has been immersed in blockchain and distributed ledgers, an enabling technology she believes will provide access to all services for both underserved and developed markets globally. Currently, she is the Co-chair of Silicon Valley Blockchain Society for Toronto Chapter, an organization focused on funding the blockchain revolution. She has served as the CEO of Pegasus Fintech; a blockchain accelerator, where the firm was the first NA sponsor for Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange (GBX), a regulated token exchange.

Prior in her career, Diana was a Global Blockchain Lead for Accenture. She conducted due diligence on Ripple which subsequently lead to an investment by the firm and where she met Greg Kidd.  Diana has co-authored many papers on the subject and was recognized as one of PaymentSource’s Most Influential Women in Payments, 2017 for her work in Blockchain.

Diana has also served as the President of a global IT services company with offices in India, the UK, Canada, and the US.  She spearheaded the company’s transformation from an IT services provider to an electronic payments specialist, doubling revenues and tripling the company’s stock value.  Clients included Visa Inc., Visa Europe, and First Data. Diana was featured in in Dataquest as one of the top IT women in India.

As an entrepreneur, Ms. Adachi co-founded two successful businesses. She evangelized the Web with Viewz, an e-commerce development company and provided tech firms with strategic marketing services through Nextech.


Douglas Evans , Advisor

Douglas B. Evans is a San Francisco-based attorney and business executive whose work focuses on international technology ventures. He has worked for major international corporations (IBM, Mitsui & Co., Sega), major international law firms (Nishimura & Asahi in Tokyo, Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco), and successful start-up companies.

Following Morrison & Foerster, Mr. Evans served as President of Dotcast, Inc., in which capacity he successfully guided the launch of the company’s wireless distribution technology in a nationwide network operated through a consortium of The Walt Disney Company, Cisco, and Intel. Mr. Evans also guided the successful sale of the company and

distribution of the proceeds to shareholders.

Mr. Evans received his J.D. from Northwestern University in Chicago, and holds an LL.M. in European Community Law from the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He is a past Governing Committee member of the ABA Forum on Entertainment and Sports Law, and past Chairman of its section on Interactive Media and New Technologies. Mr. Evans is licensed to practice law in California and New York. He is the inventor with respect to four issued patents pertaining to digital watermarking (assigned to Digimarc Corp.)

Alka Gupta , Advisor

Alka Gupta is tech entrepreneur and fortune 500 former exec with more than 20 years of experience in consumer internet, fintech, identity, commerce, and globalization.  She has been at the early stages of some of the most significant digital transformations and platforms including the mobile, ecommerce, payments, and blockchain at both early stage and public companies.  She has worked globally across US, Asia, Latin American, and Europe.

Alka is a Co-founder and Board Director at globaliD, a portable and interoperable identity platform leveraging the blockchain.   She led its growth as President raising seed, a venture backed Series A, built world class team, launched cutting edge product, and signed first customers from ground zero.  Prior to globaliD, Alka was with eBay/PayPal as head of strategy for eBay Marketplaces assessing new markets, competitive intelligence, and technologies. Before eBay, Alka was VP of Business Development at Retrevo (acq. by Barnes and Noble) where she built strategic partnerships to grow the ecommerce business and generate early revenue. Earlier, she spent eight years at Lycos (LCOS; acq. by Telefonica), the first and fastest search engine to IPO.  As GM, she co-founded the community products and grew it into a suite of social networking offerings.  As VP Corporate Development and Strategy, she developed strategy, executed acquisitions, and guided Lycos through its divestments and acquisition.

Ms. Gupta holds an MBA from The Wharton School and B.S. (cum laude) from Case Western Reserve University. She is a Board Director at globaliD and Digital Frontiers Institute and has held past Board of Advisor seats at companies including Affinity Circles, Retrevo, Vacapedia, and Tumri.  She is also on the Finance and Audit Committee, MPCSD; World Economic Forum Digital Advisory Council; a Distinguished Wharton Women in Business Alumna Award Nominee; member of the Wharton Alumni Admissions Committee; past Board of Director and President of Menlo Park-Atherton Education Foundation; Former Charter Member and Chair of Mentoring Program at TiE; early Advisory Board Member Women 2.0.

Alka is passionate about the democratization of access and empowering populations via technology. She is focused on leveraging her expertise and experience to help companies grow via digital transformation, platform leverage, new market entry, and great organizations.

Ana Maria Jipa , Advisor

Ana Maria Jipa, with a technical mindset coming from the Aeronautics space, implies a dynamic background in the API industry, she has founded, designed and developed various tech products (from delivery service to e-commerce platform). Has worked consulting and supporting organizations across various regions and industries on APIs Management, Experience Design, and Machine-Learning/AI.

Throughout her career, Ana M. has collaborated with leaders within the private and public sector by been involved in providing strategic solutions that involving technology component – with and for government agencies and Fortune 500 companies.  Currently located in Europe, Spain – focused on supporting building defining long-term businesses; especially interested in marketplaces, payments, big-data and distributed systems.

Jennifer Johnson , Advisor

Versatile and accomplished, Jennifer has expertise in mobile, finance, data science, analytics, statistical visualization, product development, and corporate strategy gained over years of diverse professional experience.  Jennifer’s career passion has been in launching and working with early-stage companies that leverage finance, economics, decentralized information, and data visualization.

She met Greg Kidd pre-internet, when he was building one-to-many radio dispatch software for his company DMSC’s same day delivery network.  At that time, she was working on the swaps desk of the fixed income trading floor of Merrill Lynch in structured derivatives.

 Greg encouraged and worked with Jennifer on her first entrepreneurial project, the WebPersonals, one of the earliest online dating sites, which grew quickly, and was acquired.  Since then, Jennifer has gone on to found multiple companies, work in investment banking, and serve in high-level business management.  Based in New York, she is currently advising clients through AlphaObjectives, and pursuing master’s coursework in technology management and analytics at Columbia.