Invest Southwest Board of Directors


2023 CHAIR

Hamid Shojaee

Hamid Shojaee is a local veteran entrepreneur and investor. He is the founder of Axosoft, a software development tools company, and Pure Chat, a live chat software company. Both companies were acquired in 2020, at which time Hamid shifted his focus more towards his passion for startups and investing.

As an investor, Hamid has been involved with numerous Arizona tech startups, including being an angel seed investor to companies like CampusLogic, Prenda and Equipifi to name a few. He is also a board member of the StartupAZ Foundation and Venture Madness.



Aaron Harmon, Osborn Maledon - Invest Southwest BOD Member

As a partner at Osborn Maledon, Aaron serves as outside general counsel for start-up, growth-oriented and middle market companies, advising officers, directors, managers and key employees on fiduciary and corporate governance matters.  He also regularly represents clients in angel, VC and private equity financings and in M&A transactions.  In addition, he helps clients draft and negotiate various commercial contracts.

Prior to Osborn Maledon, Aaron was an associate attorney at Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP in Delaware where he counseled officers and directors of Delaware corporations on fiduciary and corporate governance matters.  Prior to his law career, Aaron was a senior accountant at Pinnacle West Capital Corporation, and an assurance associate with Deloitte.  Aaron received his B.S. in Accountancy from Arizona State University, his M.S. in Accountancy from Ohio State University, and his Juris Doctor from Duke University School of Law.

Molly Iarocci


Molly Iorocci - Invest Southwest BOD

Molly Iarocci is Director – Private Investments & Advisory at DCA Asset Management, Inc.  Her role includes: 1) sourcing, analyzing, and making investment decisions on private investments across the growth curve, 2) developing and executing on the venture capital strategy, 3) providing strategic financial advisory services, 4) developing and launching fund products, 5) analyzing public investments, 6) network and partnership development, 7) raising capital for DCA’s initiatives, and 8) building the company’s analyst program.  Ms. Iarocci spent five years with Stifel Financial Corp. as an equity research associate analyst covering consumer discretionary brands where her experience included financial modeling and valuation assessment, developing proprietary research, IPO advisory, and communicating with executive teams and institutional clients.

Ms. Iarocci earned a BBA in Management, Entrepreneurship and an MBA with a concentration in Investments / Corporate Finance from the University of Notre Dame, and a MS in Business Analytics from Arizona State University.

Karen Katzorke


Karen Katzorke, Executive Director, Invest Southwest

Karen Katzorke has served as Executive Director of the Invest Southwest since the spring of 2011. Prior to serving as Executive Director, she worked for the ASU Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development for more than six years as Program Specialist and was responsible for the planning and execution of programs and events. Ms. Katzorke previously worked as Program Manager of Entrepreneurial Services at the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, where she coordinated entrepreneurial programs and provided organization and promotion for the Arizona Venture Capital Conference. She is experienced with early to mid-stage life science and technology entrepreneurs, assisting companies with access to capital and other expansion and growth needs. Ms. Katzorke has more than 10 years of economic development experience, which includes the Greater Phoenix Chamber and the Greater Phoenix Economic Council.



Sydnie is an associate at Kickstart Seed Fund. Her primary responsibilities include conducting due diligence, sourcing and screening deals, and managing Campus Founders Fund (Kickstart’s student-run VC fund). Prior to joining Kickstart, she worked as a business analyst at Cicero Group, a management consulting firm based in SLC. Originally from Eastern Pennsylvania, Sydnie began her career as a solo guitarist and vocalist while attending Pennsylvania State University. She transferred to Brigham Young University in 2014 where she graduated with a B.S. in Business Strategy and served as President of the Business Strategy program during her senior year.



Kristell Millan

Kristell is a Partner at State48 Ventures, based in Arizona. Her responsibilities include sourcing and screening early-stage venture deals, conducting due diligence, and prospective investment evaluation. Prior to State48, Kristell served as Managing Director of InvestU, a 50+ member angel investing network affiliated with Arizona State University. She previously worked at J.P. Morgan Private Bank in NYC. Kristell also has prior experience working with founders at a micro-finance firm in Mexico City and a social entrepreneurship think tank in Singapore. Kristell is also involved in education and entrepreneurial philanthropic efforts and serves on the ASU Hispanic Business Alumni Board.

Kristell earned undergraduate honors degrees in Finance and Global Politics from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University before earning her Master’s in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. However, she is a proud Sun Devil first and foremost.

Phillip J. Pipkins


Phillip J. Pipkins - Invest Southwest BOD

Phillip J. Pipkins is founding partner at Prospeq, LP. He has over 8 years of banking and product experience in his career as Vice President at Silicon Valley Bank. He specializes in early stage investing, lending and deal sourcing having grown his portfolio to include the fastest growing startups and investors in the southwest. As a technology leader, he has led the banks digital transformation and development of several enterprise fintech applications. He sits on the advisory board of ASU’s TEM school and Vencapital which is a VC accelerator focusing on underrepresented fund managers. Phillip graduated from ASU in 2012 and is based in Phoenix, AZ.



Gregg Scoresby - Invest Southwest Board of Directors

Gregg Scoresby is the Founder and Managing Partner of PHX Ventures, which aspires to be the most active early-stage software investor in Arizona. Prior to PHX Ventures, Gregg founded CampusLogic, which became one of the fastest growing software companies in Arizona.

CampusLogic transformed the student financial aid experience in higher education and raised nearly $200 million from leading venture capital and private equity investors. Before being acquired in April 2022 by Ellucian, a portfolio company of Blackstone and Vista Equity, CampusLogic’s award-winning products were used by over 4 million students at 800 colleges and universities.

In 2015, Gregg and CampusLogic were winners of Venture Madness. Gregg is also on the Board of Directors of StartupAZ and several high-growth software companies in Arizona.



Diana Vowels - Galvanize - Invest Southwest BOD, 2021 VMC Chair

Diana Vowels is a community builder with a passion for driving the tech ecosystem forward in Phoenix.

She is the CEO of StartupAZ, the organization created to catalyze Arizona’s technology and innovation ecosystem by connecting and empowering entrepreneurs. Diana, who has long been at the forefront of Arizona’s technology and startup community, joined StartupAZ in 2021 to help expand the organization’s talent attraction and development mission. Prior to joining the team, she served as VP/Community and General Manager of Galvanize, where she led the launch of the software engineering and data science bootcamps and built the co-working space into a vital part of Phoenix’s startup fabric. She currently serves on the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley and Venture Madness board of directors, and was the 2021 chair for the Venture Madness conference.

Diana is a graduate of University of Missouri and has held executive roles in public and private companies in media, healthcare and technology.



Sandra Watson

Sandra Watson brings more than 20 years of economic development leadership experience to Arizona. She and her teams have successfully attracted hundreds of companies to Arizona that have invested billions of dollars in capital and created more than 75,000 quality jobs. Ms. Watson worked tirelessly to implement the new vision for the ACA and its aggressive 5-year business plan promoting the state’s pro-business, competitive value proposition. She provided invaluable leadership during the organization’s transition from the Department of Commerce into one of the nation’s first state-based public-private partnerships focused on economic development. Under her direction, the ACA leads statewide efforts assisting companies to locate, expand and grow – bringing high-wage jobs and capital investment to Arizona. Ms. Watson holds an Honors Bachelor of Commerce degree and completed the Global Leadership Certification program at the Thunderbird School of Management.

Interested in joining the Invest Southwest Board of Directors?