Welcome New Mentors!

The enthusiasm around RunUp Labs continues to grow. We have had quite the response from the initial announcement and are happy to welcome some new mentors to the team.

Valyn Perini has over 15 years of experience in hospitality and travel operations, sales and marketing, systems, consulting, and software development. Before her current role as CEO of OpenTravel, Perini worked with InterContinental, Westin and Swissotel. She also worked as a hospitality technology consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers, working with cruise lines, hotel companies, tech vendors, and the federal government. Perini now oversees the operations of the organization of OpenTravel.

Sameer Bhalla recently joined Technology Crossover Ventures as an Associate and focuses primarily on Internet Investments. He has also been an analyst in the Technology Investment Banking Group at Morgan Stanley. While Sameer was with Morgan Stanley he worked with companies in internet, software, and communications equipment sectors on many different transactions.


Nadav Gur was the founder and CEO of WorldMate, which he led for over 10 years. He grew WorldMate from an early mobile app to the world’s biggest mobile travel service. Gur currently runs a disruptive travel search and planning startup called Desti.



Evan Konwiser co-founded FlightCaster in 2009 to provide better traveler tools using advanced technology. In last 2010, FlightCaster was acquired by Next Jump. Konwiser managed Next Jump’s travel business.  Before FlightCaster, Konwiser was a consultant at Bain & Company and also spent time at Kayak. He currently is an independant consultant and advisor in the travel industry working with startups to large agencies and airlines on issues including technology, innovation, and emerging trends.

Raman P. “RP” Rama has held many positions with various travel and tech boards. R.P. is responsible for managing the information technology infrastructure and planning for JHM Hotels. He is also responsible for establishing management information system and technology initiatives for JHM Hotels. He keeps the company current with the trends within this industry by implementing these technologies at their resource center and properties.

Michael Dalesandro co-founded the social travel site Where I’ve Been in 2007. In mid 2011 he negotiated the sale to Expedia (EXPE). While at Where I’ve Been, Dalesandro was the CEO and  lead the strategic direction, positioning, finances and business development of the company.  He has funded & managed various companies including DRO|WST Trading, Victory Networks, M&R executions, The Point Derivative Fund & Blueye.com.


Steve Barsh has over 20 years of experience and is an accomplished CEO, entrepreneur, and senior executive. Steve founded and led a software company as he graduated college. He later sold it for 8x the revenue. After that, Steve led an internet company that focused on the baby boomer space, iGrandparents.com. Steve currently is a partner in Dreamit Ventures. He also serves as acting CXO and consulting services.