Sean Saunders

Venture Capital Associate at VU Venture Partners

San Mateo, CA

How does this work?

Fascinated with why and how people make decisions, I've spent the better part of my life in customer-facing roles & neuroscience programs focused on understanding behavior. Now, I'm leveraging what makes us tick, why we hit obstacles, and how we can change improve our outcomes at work and at home to identify partners, entrepreneurs, and teams that will help solve the biggest challenges facing society.... or at least are doing their part. Tell me about yourself; what's your vision, what obstacles are you facing, and what's most important to you? I won't have all the answers, but I will do everything in my power to help! Feel free to reach out here, and I'd be happy to connect.

Work experience

Mar 2021 - Present

VU Venture Partners


VU Venture Partners is a multi-stage investment fund with vertical focuses in Consumer, Enterprise, Fintech, Frontier, Healthcare, and PropTech Responsible for sourcing, screening, and evaluating Startups quantitatively and qualitatively Performing investigations of competitive landscapes Conducting customer, startup team, and investor interviews Presenting findings weekly to General Partners with 45+ years of combined VC experience and investments in 10+ unicorns such as Beyond Meat, Uber, Facebook, Twitter, Wish, Oculus, and Oscar Creating and maintaining a network of accelerators, VC / PE funds, and entrepreneurs for future investment opportunities


Apr 2019 - Mar 2021

Grafana Labs

Enterprise Account Executive, Americas

Helping our customers and users realize the full value of the first open & composable observability platform. Grafana Labs is bringing together all of the metrics, logs, and traces necessary to completely monitor mission-critical systems all visualized within a flexible, easy-to-use, single pane of glass. To deliver this vision to everyone, we're also the team behind Cortex, MetricTank, Loki, & Grafana so that you can easily curate your observability platform with powerful open-source solutions.


Aug 2017 - Apr 2019


Commercial Account Executive

At Tenfold, we allow every company to unlock the power of their data and the humanity of their customer-facing employees. Whether you're part of a Global 2000 Enterprise, small business, or a stealth startup, the most important element of your business will always be your customers. Imagine finally treating those customers like neighbors instead of numbers. That's the Tenfold experience. Responsible for: Prospecting, Qualifying, and Collaborating with Customers through the full sales cycle. Including identifying renewal and expansion opportunities within the customer base. Commercial Account Executive: May 2018 - Present Enterprise Sales Development Rep: August 2017 - May 2018


Jul 2016 - Aug 2017


Cloud Account Manager

MongoDB Atlas makes it easy to set up, operate and scale your MongoDB deployments in the cloud. From high availability to scalability, security to disaster recovery- we’ve got you covered. Excelling in Big Data, IoT, and other modern projects, MongoDB is deployed across industries including finance, healthcare, and insurance. Prospective MongoDB users ranged from developers at stealth startups to C-level executives at Fortune 100 companies. Responsible for: Accelerating adoption of MongoDB Atlas, working in tandem with our Corporate and Enterprise Account Executives as well as our product and marketing teams. Empowering MongoDB Cloud users globally, from SMBs to Global 2000 Enterprises. Delivering increased database service availability, accelerated time to market, development of new types of applications to maximize competitive advantage, and lower TCO compared to Oracle and Microsoft. Preventing vendor lock-in by spanning the AWS, Microsoft Azure, and GCP clouds. Not to mention, MongoDB Atlas is delivered by the same team that builds MongoDB. Qualified leads and customers through outbound cold calls, cold emails, and social sales tactics, as well as hundreds of inbound leads generated by our marketing team daily. Exceeded performance goals through ramp (140%, 130% respective roles) and fully productive months (110%). Roles: Cloud Account Manager: March 2017 - August 2017 Enterprise SDR: December 2016 - March 2017 Lead Development Representative: July 2016 - December 2017 Recognition: Honorable SDR Q1 FY 2018 Top LDR Q4 FY 2017 Top LDR FY 2017 MongoDB Excellence Club 2017

Jan 2016 - May 2016

Tulane University - Department of Cell & Molecular Biology

Research Assistant

Within Dr. Laurie Earls' lab at Tulane University, we work on elucidating the role of a microRNA in the pathology of schizophrenia and 22q11DS. Working on a cellular scale, I perform transfections and genetic manipulations of cultured cell lines and genotyped our mouse models of the disease. Additionally, I am responsible for maintaining the lab environment including preparation of reagents, sterilization/autoclaving of tools, and assisting with management and purchase of laboratory equipment.

Nov 2013 - May 2016


Campus Director, Bellhop

Bellhops is a tech-based moving solution that exclusively employs college students to provide small local moving help in 115+ cities across the country. With Bellhops, I supervised, managed and executed residential moves across New Orleans. However, the most important aspect of my position was the management of client happiness and satisfaction throughout the stressful moving process; specifically by coordinating and communicating with the customer before, during, and after the completion of the move. The second year of my time with Bellhops, I was awarded the honor of being a Top 100 Bellhop in the country and became my location's Campus Director for the 2014-2015 academic year. In addition to prior responsibilities, this role also involved recruiting new employees, managing their client issues, increasing and improving business within our market, and reporting to the regional director at Bellhops HQ.


Jun 2015 - Aug 2015


Project Coordinator, Commercial Training & Development

The Commercial Training & Development (CT&D) department is accountable for developing and implementing training that increase employees’ knowledge, competency, and skills to enhance their performance. Utilizing current science in adult learning and education, I collaborated on designing and streamlining technology solutions for training Genentech's expansive salesforce. Working with cloud-based technologies, mobile training platforms, and an SAP-based validated learning management system, I developed a plan to modernize and simplify the training experience.


May 2014 - Jun 2015

Tulane University

Intern, Office of Undergraduate Admissions

As a first point of contact for prospective students and parents, I worked closely with the Admission staff to inspire continued desire to join an incredible university. In addition to fielding approximately 100+ inbound and outbound "customer" leads and inquiries, I often coordinated 20+ person tours, wide-ranging travel plans, and 1000+ participant campus recruiting/engagement events. Additionally, we ensured that all prospective and new students are given the information necessary to make an informed decision by managing objections and concerns about the transition to college life and the associated costs and benefits. This client-facing role allowed me to improve my communication ability across email, phone, and in-person channels.

Apr 2012 - Dec 2014

Barnwell Law Firm

Lead Intern

As the primary intern and assistant at Sarah Barnwell's law practice in the Philadelphia area, I worked closely with a variety of legal documents and research systems. Under her supervision, I created court documents and templates to be used with current and future clients in all areas of her diverse practice. Additionally, I submitted these documents to the court and attended client meetings with Ms. Barnwell. This internship also provided me with phenomenal experience into the research aspect of working in the legal industry.

Sep 2010 - Dec 2014

Ice Bars, Luges, and Logos, LLC

Sculptor's Apprentice

Ice Bars, Luges, and Logos, LLC is my most creative work experience to date. Working as Rob Capone's apprentice, I learned basic techniques for creating beautiful works of art with ice as well as the business side of an artistic craft. Furthermore, we worked heavily in the logistics of creating, moving, assembling, and maintaining these sculptures for high-end events in the Philadelphia area. Our most notable clients included the Continental Restaurant's New Year's Eve Party as well as the opening celebration of a film studio in the area.

Jul 2013 - Dec 2013

Domenica Restaurant


Domenica, recently ranked #13 best Italian restaurant in the country, and the pride of both John Besh and Alon Shaya, was an excellent place to experience the service industry. Serving hundreds of guests each evening, I learned how various high quality ingredients were taken from the farm to the plate and how to do so with the utmost efficiency and hospitality to provide a stellar experience for any guest. As a back waiter/food runner, I ensured the dining experience would be seamless for each guest in the restaurant, whether by handling issues or questions about meals or relaying concerns and comments to the kitchen and acting as an intermediary between the front & back-of-house staff.

May 2013 - Jul 2013

Howard & Reed

Law Clerk/ Legal Intern

As law clerk for an established practice in the New Orleans area, I gained experience in personal injury, environmental, and civil law. Working on a multi-million dollar class action lawsuit, I met with class victims, analyzed property surveys in the Louisiana area, calculated reward proposals, and enhanced the document management system for the organization. Additionally, I learned how to review medical records for the purpose of personal injury lawsuits, attended multiple interviews and depositions with clients, and experience law under the LA civil code.

May 2007 - Aug 2012

Mermaid Country Day Camp

Senior Counselor

Not only responsible for the supervision of twenty kids between the ages of seven and twelve, but also responsible for serving their meals, teaching sports and swimming, but also providing model behavior.

Jun 2009 - Aug 2011

JP Patios, LLC


Specializing in patios and masonry, I worked with JP Patios to dramatically improve the aesthetic value of homes in the Philadelphia area.

May 2010 - Aug 2010

We Buy Energy Credits, LLC

Strategy Intern

My first role in the renewables industry, I was responsible for analyzing the trends in the developing energy credit market as well as developing an anticipated outlook for the company to move forward with energy credit aggregation. The results of the project were compiled into a presentation I delivered at the end of the summer to the business owner, wherein the results of my analysis suggested that I advise our company to not enter the solar credit aggregation market with our proposed business plan.


Tulane University

Master of Science - MS, Neuroscience

Tulane University - A.B. Freeman School of Business

Bachelor’s Degree, Legal Studies & Neuroscience

Wissahickon Senior High School

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