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.

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.

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.

Katie Sullivan , Partner

Katie joins the Hard Yaka team with a unique background in high volume communications and information management. Prior experiences include remote fee collection and wilderness-use research for federal recreation areas,

as well as financial analysis of urban architectural designs. She seeks out thoughtful teams pushing technical boundaries, building tools that empower individuals and enable cross-border communities.

Fae Nageon de Lestang , Partner

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!

Douglas Evans , Legal 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.)