Matter Six

Meet the 12 teams that make up our first bi-coastal cohort. 6 are based in SF, 6 are based in NYC.

Matter Portfolio

Our growing portfolio now has 5 classes and 6 seed investments under its belt. These entrepreneurs and companies have done some truly incredible things since completing Matter.

Matter Team

Corey Ford
Managing Partner

Corey co-founded Matter in 2012 with the mission of using the startup accelerator model to drive innovation in media. He sees a lot of overlap between his job leading Matter and his early days as a documentary film producer, “at the hub of a creative wheel.” Corey began his career in public broadcasting as a producer on 17 films for the PBS/WGBH series FRONTLINE, winning an Emmy and a duPont-Columbia Gold Baton Award. He earned an MBA at Stanford and was a Morehead Scholar at UNC-Chapel Hill. Prior to Matter, he built Runway, a pre-team, pre-idea incubator for entrepreneurs at Innovation Endeavors, and taught design thinking innovation at the Institute of Design at Stanford University.

Lara Ortiz-Luis

Lara grew up in an entrepreneurial family where she learned first-hand the inner workings of how businesses were founded, operated, and financed. After graduating with a degree in Human Biology at Stanford, she worked as a paralegal at an impact litigation non-profit firm helping employees fight for their civil rights, while simultaneously honing visual storytelling skills with a photography-film side hustle.
She joined Matter at the beginning of 2014, where she was able to apply her unique background in mission-driven work, storytelling, and entrepreneurship. Since then, she has overseen the launch of 31 companies, 83 founders, and 5 classes. Outside the office, you can find her combining ingredients in the kitchen, spiking some sweet sets on the volleyball court, or learning a language.

Liz Kopp
Space & Operations

Liz runs Space and Operations as Matter’s Office Manager. She studied International Development and Urban Planning at UCLA with a focus on transportation design. She interned at the legal branch monitoring the U.S. Department of Transportation, and also worked on Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign. Later she went on to work in appraisal operations and compliance. Before joining the Matter team she oversaw HR and Office operations at an Edtech startup that uses design thinking to bring about change in school districts through personalized learning. There she honed the belief that culture and people are primary to how any system should function. Outside the Matter world Liz can be found building, crafting and making multimedia projects and running in the park.

Rebecca Bowring

Becky was born in Wales, UK, a place with more sheep than people, to entrepreneurial parents who founded a software company. She has a degree in English and European Literature from the University of Warwick and found her way into broadcast journalism via documentary filmmaking. Becky worked as a producer for Sky News in London and an anchor for France 24 in Paris, where she co-founded a weekly show called Tech 24. After spending 6 months teaching presenting skills to journalists in China, she covered technology news in San Francisco for several international TV broadcasters. Her role at Matter involves using multimedia tools to unlock and share insights with the wider world. Outside work, she enjoys swing dancing and learning her husband’s native language, Russian.

Pete Mortensen

Pete hails from Midland, Michigan. Like many in the city, his grandfather was a chemist, but Pete set his sights on working in the print media from an early age. His degree courses at Northwestern University included Machiavellian Shakespeare and Literary Journalism. After a spell on a daily newspaper in Michigan, Pete moved to California’s wine country and covered rock/paper/scissor competitions. An Apple junkie, he went on to write for and Cult of Mac and co-authored the award-winning book, Wired to Care. Prior to joining Matter in January 2016, Pete worked for innovation consulting firm, Jump Associates, and with an entrepreneurial team at Jetpack Consulting. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and baby daughter, Iris. Pete likes comic books, running marathons and brewing dirty craft beer and wild ales in his kitchen.

Nikita Shamdasani
Program Coordinator

Nikita was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, to Indian immigrant parents. Her dad has 6 brothers and sisters and they run several businesses together. Nikita was a Morehead-Cain Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she studied Political Science and Business. She first joined Matter as an intern in 2013 and played a major role in launching Demo Day in New York City. She also worked at Ellevate, a professional women’s network. After graduation, Nikita helped design a donor strategy for MiracleFeet, a social enterprise that makes low-cost braces for children with clubfoot. Then she worked in federal consulting at at Deloitte. Now, as Program Coordinator in our NYC office, she is thrilled to be back. Outside work, Nikita loves brainstorming startup ideas, listening to podcasts, and working out.


This is a powerful set of partners. More than half of the world sees news from the Associated Press every day. CNHI reaches more than 130 communities throughout the United States. A. H. Belo covers Texas with The Dallas Morning News and other media properties. McClatchy operates media companies in 28 U.S. markets in 14 states and owns iconic brands such as The Miami Herald, The (Raleigh) News and Observer, and The Kansas City Star. KQED has the most listened-to public radio station in the nation and is one of the most trusted brands in the Bay Area. Knight Foundation has leveraged its $2.2B endowment to become the leading institution supporting and connecting media innovators inside and outside traditional media organizations. PRX, named one of the world’s ten most innovative media companies, operates public radio’s largest distribution marketplace, offering thousands of audio stories for broadcast and digital use. Google News Lab joins Matter as its first technology partner, leveraging Google’s vast tech expertise and resources to double down on media innovation. Google for Entrepreneurs empowers entrepreneurs around the world through its programs, partnerships, and products. In more than 160 years of publishing, The New York Times has won more Pulitzer Prizes than any other news organization. Tamedia is Switzerland’s largest private media group.

Advisory Board

Andy Pergam


Jim Kennedy

The Associated Press

Matthew Ipsan

Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.

Nicki Purcell

A. H. Belo Corporation

Steve Grove

Google News Lab

Shazna Nessa

The Knight Foundation

Tim Olson


Kerri Hoffman


Malcolm Casselle

Tribune Publishing

Nick Rockwell

The New York Times

Sign Up for our Newsletter