Team Highlights

  • VENTURE: Venture investment track record returns over 15 years 
  • AGILE: Multi-stage expertise from angel to IPO and restructuring 
  • OPERATIONS: Operated large properties with almost 100 Million Users  
  • COMMUNITY: Community organizer, helping thousands of startups connect
  • KARMA: Launched non-profit global accelerator

Traction & Scale Team

Richard Hecker, CEO. Richard serves as the CEO of Traction + Scale LLC, a holding company whose businesses have collectively raised over $130MM. Richard has 15 years of experience in both operating and investment environments, across Tech/Media/Telecom, FinTech and Wellness. He previously took a technology public and operated the largest digital property in the UK with 100MM users. He also is a startup community pioneer, having launched NYC Entrepreneur Week. He contributes to leading media outlets including the Wall Street Journal Accelerators, TechCrunch and Fox Business Network. He also serves on the board of TIE NY, the leading global entrepreneur network. In his spare time he is a yoga community leader. Richard holds a BS in Finance from Binghamton University. 


David West Smith, Venture Partner & Senior Advisor: David is the Chief Investment Officer for Traction + Scale. David leads global investments, investment structuring and portfolio business development. David lends his investment track record to help our investment screening and structuring. David is a multi-disciplinary investor navigating between global markets. His previous investments generated over 3.3X cash-on-cash return for investors with exits to Intel, Yahoo and Oracle. He also worked at  a global private equity firm and at Deutsche Bank. David speaks multiple languages and holds a BA from Eckerd College and an MBA from the University of Miami.    


Dan Goikhman, Venture Partner & Mobile Resident: Dan is Venture Partner with Traction+Scale and marketing resident. Dan also serves as CEO of Unreel, a video search technology platform. Previously he co-founded Discover Dandelion, a SMB marketing platform which he sold and Mojiva inc. a leading mobile advertising company, which he grew to over $40MM in revenue. Dan serves on the Advisory Boards of Thumb (acq. by YPulse!), Wakefield Media (producers of the Uncubed event series), Muzik, and Dan holds a BS in Management Information Systems from Lehigh University, and dropped out half-way through his MBA to found Mojiva.


Bill Schild, Venture Partner: Bill is a Venture Partner and the T+S business development resident. He is the SVP of Global Business Development for Viant, one of the leading data driven marketing technology company and the owner of MySpace. He leads their corporate partnerships with a focus on data acquisition and revenue generation. He previously served as SVP of Global Marketing for Specific Media, a leading ad technology companies, owned by Viant. He began his career at PwC and Disney and holds a BS in Accounting from University of Florida and an MBA from Columbia.






Christian Montoya, Venture Partner & Product Design Resident: Christian is a Venture Partner and our resident product designer. He is an expert in social game design. In the past 8 years, he has helped build many games for web and mobile with millions of users. He has extensive experience with social, game and music software.  Most notably, he led product development for Draw Something, then the fastest app to ever get to #1 in the app store.  Some of the products and companies he has been involved with include, Tylted, OMGPOP, Mappdev, appsavvy and SGN.



Elizabeth Knopf, VP Special Projects and Operations Resident: Elizabeth serves as a VP for Traction + Scale. She leads special projects and external fund operations. She manages marketing including conferences and content production and external communication. Most recently she was the Managing Director of Linio Panama, Rocket Internet’s “Amazon for LatAm”, bringing on 200 partners in 4 months. She previously co-founded the Growth Hacker Live conference. She previously worked in business development for SecondMarket, the pioneer of secondary investments and served as an Associate forOpenView Venture Partners, a $200MM venture capital firm Elizabeth graduated from Harvard college with an AB in Economics.


Jordan Pasternak, Analyst: Jordan serves as an analyst for for Traction + Scale. Jordan leads diligence and modeling for new investments and supports internal fund operations. Jordan started off interning for T+S. He also was on the founding team of Darc Matter, an investment technology platform, connecting 100+ leading investors with opportunities. Jordan previously spent six years as a finance and operations executive at an independent film studio in NYC. He graduated with his MBA from Baruch's Zicklin School of Business and is a semi-retired classical musician, with a Masters in Music Performance from NYU.