Christen O'Brien

VP MARKETING

Biography

Christen has been one of the leading connectors in Silicon Valley for over a decade, having started her career in technology in 2006 at a network that identified top emerging startups and introduced them to investors and corporate strategics. Among the startups she worked with at the earliest stages are LinkedIn, Twilio, Box, AdMob, Pandora, Loopt, and Atlassian.

In 2010, Christen co-founded 500 Startups where she led marketing and business development. Within just 18 months, 500 became one of the most well-known seed funds in the world. Within 5 years, the fund had $200 million under management and more than 1,500 companies globally. Christen also led international programs in which she tracked market trends and built critical relationships with key technology influencers across more than 22 countries. 

She later joined Silicon Valley Bank in 2014 as a Managing Director in the Early Stage group, where she served as an advocate for leading pre-series A founders, oversaw the group's most important acquisition channels, and worked closely with C-level executives on the Stripe Atlas partnership product.

Previously. Christen also founded reWired, a marketing agency with clients such as Digg, Open Mobile Media, and 500 Hats.

Passionate about global economics and philanthropy, she served in the Peace Corps as an elementary English teacher in Bulgaria. That experience shaped her world view and taught her the importance of entrepreneurship to political and economic stability.

Interests

Adventure traveler, recently joined a conservation initiative in the jungles of Sumatra, Indonesia to trek and become an advocate for the critically endangered orangutan; Lifelong piano player, has written several original compositions; Learning foreign languages, fluent in Spanish and Bulgarian and conversational in Italian after a few grappas; Obsessed with writing, reading, cross-medium content, and the power of words.

Education & Affiliations

B.A., Communications & Business, University of Southern California

Volunteer, United States Peace Corps (Bulgaria)