Our team is made up of experienced investors with significant track records of entrepreneurial and operational success. We work closely with founders to support them in building truly great companies. We’ve been there ourselves and know that a team-based approach delivers the best results.

Illuminate’s investment team is deeply integrated in the high tech community where we have longstanding relationships of trust with successful entrepreneurs and co-investors. We've helped build companies from the ground up through successful IPO and M&A exits as investors, advisers and as operating managers. Our experience across the enterprise software category is broad - including SaaS business applications, cloud computing infrastructure, data analytics, security, IIoT, technology enabled services and mobile and wireless solutions.

Our co-investors and those that come in to lead follow-on financings in our portfolio include some of the best VCs and corporate investors in the world - in firms like Altos Ventures, Battery Ventures, Insight Partners, Intel Capital, Salesforce Ventures, Sequoia Capital and SoftBank.

Cindy Padnos

Leveraging 25 years of high tech industry experience, Cindy Padnos is the founder and Managing Partner of Illuminate Ventures. She focuses primarily in the Enterprise/B2B cloud and mobile computing sectors, with a particular emphasis on SaaS applications and platforms, solutions leveraging data for business impact and new business models that accelerate customer acquisition. Cindy serves as a board director for Bid Ops, BrightEdge, CafeX, nFlux, and Pex. Her prior investment exits include Xactly (IPO then acquired by Vista), Coupang (IPO), Sense Platform (M&A Cloudera), Opsmatic (M&A New Relic), Red Aril (M&A iCrossing), WildPockets (M&A Autodesk), Allocadia (M&A Brandmaker/Rubicon).

Read More

LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter

Jennifer Savage

Jennifer is a Partner with Illuminate Ventures. In this role, Jennifer identifies and leads new investments (with a particular interest in companies in the Pacific Northwest), assists with due diligence efforts, and provides strategic and operational advice to Illuminate portfolio companies. In addition, Jennifer creatively fosters strategic relations with Illuminate’s extended B2B Enterprise network - including our Advisory Council and business school interns. She currently plays a board role for Illuminate portfolio companies Hoopla Software and Pyze and as a board observer with several other companies.

Read More

Linkedin |


Each year Illuminate welcomes MBA and JD Students from both Bay Area and remote campuses into our class-year internship program. The program typically includes students at UC Berkeley's Haas School, Wharton (West Coast), and both Stanford GSB and Stanford Law, among other top programs. Additionally, since 2016, Illuminate has collaborated with Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business to offer a Student in Residence program. The program is designed to provide hands-on learning for MBA candidates interested in entrepreneurship and Venture Capital.