Jack Russo, Managing Partner at Florence Ventures, has worked extensively with a wide range of technology startups including cyber security, virtual reality, blockchain and cryptocurrency, internet, e-commerce, software and hardware. He is the founding partner of the Palo Alto law firm Computerlaw Group LLP also known as Entrepreneur Law Group LLP, where he represents entrepreneurs and early and growth stage companies in the protection of ideas, inventions, and businesses.
Jack uses his substantial legal and business expertise to help startups realize their potential. He advocates for founders in negotiations with potential partners, vendors, customers, and other third parties. He helps founders Line up seed and angel funding with private investors. He uses his experience, creativity and gravitas to strategically with venture capital firms for significant investment opportunities.
A life-long learner, Jack holds a JD from UCLA School of Law as well as dual M.B.A. degrees from Columbia University and UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business. He also holds a joint Bachelor's and Master's degree from City University of New York in Urban Administration and Computer & Information Science. Before becoming an attorney, Mr. Russo worked full-time as a computer programmer and software analyst in New York. He also was a long-distance trucker for a time.
Leigh Soutter, a Vice President at Florence Venture Partners, helps entrepreneurs build great businesses. Her project oriented experience has focused on research and analysis, product management, and marketing, including in-the-trenches roles at her own consulting business Physics Logic as well as with various startups including environmental, advanced tech, informatics, digital photo and video and chip manufacture. She also holds advisory and board positions.
Leigh currently is working towards a second PhD at the International School of Management (ISM) in Paris where her dissertation research involves the role of innovative technologies for environmental applications and emerging markets. She also holds a PhD in GES Hydrogeology from Stanford University and BS from UH-Hilo and has leveraged her experience with environmental and scientific computing as a technology consultant, entrepreneur and investor. She has a keen interest in creative dispute resolution and is a certified mediator from the California State Bar and a certified Gottman marriage counselor.