An unapologetic lover of literature, Jessica Ewing is Founder and CEO of Literati. Jessica began her career as a product manager at Google, where she worked directly for both Marissa Mayer and Sundar Pichai for five years developing consumer products. She was featured in Fast Company as one of “Google's 12 Most Innovative Minds” in 2007, and she is the co-owner of five different patents in consumer technology design. Ewing left Google in 2009 to pursue a lifelong dream of writing. A graduate of Stanford University, Jessica previously served as special assistant to the Director of the National Economic Council in the White House. She is also an instructor at the Boulder Outdoor Survival School, where she teaches courses on primitive and traditional wilderness survival in the deserts of southern Utah. In 2016, Jessica founded Literati, with a mission of igniting a love of learning and a love of life in people everywhere.
Kara's background brings a uniquely creative view and strong business mindset to the culture and leadership team at Literati. After graduating from Keene State with a degree in Communications, Kara built her career in leadership, holding roles in government, finance & tech from Boston to NYC to Austin. Kara has earned deep admiration with her teams for her gifts in coaching and mentorship, and holds a certification from NYU in Executive Coaching. In 2015, Kara relocated from NYC to set down roots in Austin. She's since worked with companies including Everlywell, National Instruments, the Central Texas Food Banks, and most recently served as Head of People at Workrise. Besides serving as Literati’s Chief People Officer, Kara is a Board Member for CASA Travis County, and an Advisor with People Tech Partners. In her free time, Kara loves spending time with her family, reading to her kiddo’s, and running.
Carla Engelbrecht is an internationally recognized expert in developing interactive and educational media. She led the Netflix interactive initiative, including Emmy-award winning Black Mirror: Bandersnatch and You vs Wild, founded the children’s gaming design firm No Crusts Interactive, and worked for Sesame Workshop, PBS KIDS, and Highlights for Children. She is the author of Designing Games for Children: Developmental, Usability, and Design Considerations for Making Games for Kids (Focal Press 2014) and holds a doctorate in instructional technology and media from Columbia University as well as a master’s degree in media studies from the New School University. In her free time, Carla serves as a trustee for the Strong National Museum of Play, performs improv comedy with ComedySportz San Jose, and sometimes makes balloon animals and hats, which often embarasses her middle-school-age daughter.
Malala Yousafzai is the youngest-ever Nobel Prize winner. Malala is a Pakistani activist who risked her life for her commitment to achieving fundamental rights to education for girls and young women. After surviving an assassination attempt in 2012, she wrote "I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban" to share her life & story with the world. In 2013, Malala co-founded the Malala Fund with her father Ziauddin Yousafzai, an international, non-profit organization that advocates for girls' education, and that is "working for a world where every girl can learn and lead". Malala serves as Literati's Chief Education Advisor, and is a beloved member of the Literati team, as Literati's flagship luminary.
Aydin Senkut is an investor, serial entrepreneur and executive, as well as Founder and Managing Partner of Silicon Valley VC firm Felicis Ventures. Early in his career, he was Google's first product manager. An original “super-angel” investor, he was named to Forbes’ 2014-2021 Midas Lists. He was also named among the New York Times’ Top 20 Venture Capital investors in 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019. Aydin is well-known as an early backer of a number of iconic companies including Adyen, Shopify, Pluralsight, Credit Karma, Fitbit, Rovio, Meraki, Guardant Health & Soundhound. Besides his impressive track record building many of the world’s most well-known companies, Aydin is an avid pilot, skier and tennis player.
Nikhil is an investor and entrepreneur focused on discovering, investing in, and mentoring the next generation of entrepreneurs. Born in the UK, Nikhil was raised in three countries on three continents. He discovered a love of entrepreneurship while a student at Princeton University. In 2008, during his sophomore year, Nikhil co-founded Artsy, an online platform for discovering and collecting art. Nikhil’s investments include Canva, Whisper, Doctor on Demand, Survios, Bloc, Hinge, Eero, Imperfect Foods, The Pill Club, Lattice, and Literati. In 2015, Nikhil was named to Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 list for Venture Capital. Today, he serves as Co-Founder and General Partner at Footwork, and brings deep expertise in consumer-oriented businesses to Literati.