Our Team

Cultivate Ventures brings a team of creative and strategic thinkers who love hustling to make things happen. The Team at Cultivate Ventures is passionate about entrepreneurship, creativity, and tangible impacts. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Caesar Layton

Vision

Caesar's energy and attention to detail allow him to make meaningful, immediate connections between concepts and people. As a development economist, Caesar navigated business culture around the world for more than a decade; more recently, he was instrumental in building a successful locally sourced online grocery marketplace. He has seen firsthand how startups have the flexibility and dynamism to fulfill unique opportunities and stimulate sustainable, impact-driven missions. Our partners look to Caesar for his tenacity, competitive spirit and love for making things happen. With deep passions for both food, health and entrepreneurialism, Caesar co-founded Cultivate Ventures with a clear vision to invest in and build companies that improve the way we access, engage and consume the food we eat. 

Caesar's LinkedIn Profile

 

Steven Holm

Finance

In some circles, Steve is known as a walking calculator. He also brings more than 15 years of experience in corporate finance, strategy and re-engineering. In his most recent role as a Director at Citigroup, Steve led the analytics team responsible for identifying ways to reduce the firm’s $50 billion expense base. Steve has always had a flare for entrepreneurship and has launched and scaled multiple small businesses. He is a director of Muk Hair USA, the US division of the #1 hair care brand in Australia and owner of The Hoboken Man Barbershop in Hoboken, NJ. Steve joined the food movement as an investor and board member of Arganica Farm Club and facilitated its merger with Relay Foods in 2012. It was his interest in driving and improving small businesses that connected him to Cultivate Ventures where he is now a founding partner.

Steve's LinkedIn Profile

 

Tara Jakubik

Sales & Marketing

Tara is a passionate startup enthusiast that combines her successful background in sports training with five years in business development, operations, public sector management and market analysis to bring creative solutions to clients. Her true excitement lies in driving marketing and sales performance for growing small businesses. She brings fresh and unique sales and marketing  perspectives to Cultivate Ventures portfolio companies and clients. 

Tara's Linkedin Profile

 

Michael Kenlay

Strategy

Michael's most audacious ambition is to leave the world a better place than when he entered it. Beginning with his days as a small business advisor in the Peace Corps to his most recent role for the last 8 years as a global business and development consultant, Michael seeks to uncover those human, strategic and market insights that catalyze growth and enable success for clients and portfolio companies. A native of Chicago, he has lived in Colorado, Australia, the UK, and at times over the last several years has called Africa home and now, in Washington, DC.

 

Mike's LinkedIn Profile

 

John Caulkins

Investment

John is committed to positive change across a wide spectrum of business, social and cultural investments. A veteran investor in industries including online grocery, furniture, tourism, hospitality, publishing and film, John has a dizzying array of interests. Equally at home in Los Angeles and Prague, John seeks out and nurtures entrepreneurs in his role as bridge-builder.

John's LinkedIn Profile

 

Rick Graf

Investment | Legal

Rick is lifelong investor and champion of entrepreneurs from across the start-up spectrum. A lawyer with over 30 years of venture capital, corporate finance and mergers and acquisition experience. Rick has been lead counsel on more than 100 venture capital and seed investments, more than 75 M&A transactions and a variety of public / private securities offerings.

Rick's LinkedIn Profile

 

Chris Wilson

Finance | Analytics

With more than 20 years' experience in managerial finance and business development, Chris is a meticulous financial guru and avid startup enthusiast. He currently lives in the Czech Republic with his wife and their two children.

Chris' LinkedIn Profile

 

All securities transactions conducted through Cross Point Capital, LLC, Member FINRA, SIPC.