Our Team

Our team combines passion for impactful innovation with deep operating and venture experience

Our Investment Team

We believe in strong partnerships based on mutual trust and respect. We work hand-in-hand with entrepreneurs to expand impact and accelerate growth by navigating the intersection of innovative technologies and industrial markets, leveraging our roots in both.


Marc van den Berg
Managing Director

Marc van den Berg is a Managing Director at 40 North Ventures. Prior to joining Marc spent 15 years in venture capital as a Partner at DBL Partners and a Managing Director at VantagePoint Ventures. Pri­or to his ven­ture cap­i­tal career, Marc spent 25 years in both ven­ture backed star­tups and multi-national pub­lic com­pa­nies here in Sil­i­con Val­ley and abroad, that includ­ed a career stint in advanced excimer lasers, industrial water treatment and advanced semiconductor materials and equipment. Marc has held numer­ous direc­tor posi­tions at semi­con­duc­tor and clean ener­gy com­pa­nies and enjoys assist­ing entre­pre­neurs in their quests to grow excit­ing new com­pa­nies.

Marc is a grad­u­ate of San­ta Clara Uni­ver­si­ty with a degree in Elec­tri­cal Engi­neer­ing. Marc and his better half Katey spend as much time at the beach as they can. They have three grown children pursuing their educational and career interests scattered around the country.

Portfolio: Superior Sensor, ZincFive

Marianne Wu
Managing Director

Marianne Wu is a Managing Director at 40 North Ventures. She believes firmly in the ability and opportunity for digital + deep customer insight + new business models to drive fundamental change across industries and throughout the economy. Prior to joining 40 North Ventures, Marianne was President, GE Ventures where she led the investing team and before that was a Partner at Mohr Davidow Ventures. She has also been a start-up executive, management consultant, and development engineer. Her career has focused at the intersection of technology, market and impact from both a start-up and large company perspective. She enjoys helping start-ups attack markets, partnering with, or navigating around large companies for success.

Marianne holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and a B.A.Sc. in Engineering Physics from the University of British Columbia, where she is also on the Advisory Board. She enjoys exploring the outdoors with her husband and two daughters.

Portfolio: Carbon, Enbala, Menlo Micro, Nexar, Tamr

Steve Foster
Venture Partner

Steve Foster is a Venture Partner at 40 North Ventures. Steve brings over 30 years of technology and energy experience including 20 years in private equity and venture capital. He was most recently a Managing Partner at ClearSky Power and Technology Fund, a $275m fund focused on energy technology. Steve previously spent time making venture investments with Altira Group and TPG, where he helped launch the venture and growth equity funds.

Steve holds a Master in Management from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor degree in Accounting from Santa Clara University.  Steve is Chairman of the Advisory board of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University. Steve also mentors social entrepreneurs through the Miller Center at SCU and teaches courses at SCU and Northwestern University.

Portfolio: Superior Sensor, ZincFive

Ben Sampson
Venture Partner

Ben Sampson is a Venture Partner at 40 North Ventures. He is passionate about the opportunity to transform large sectors of industry while improving productivity, resiliency and sustainability. Ben’s engineering background attracts him to complex problems that often require the combination of technical innovation and business model adaptation to create meaningful and lasting impact. Prior to 40 North Ventures, Ben was a Director at GE Ventures where he led investments in early-stage companies across energy, transportation, manufacturing and the built environment. Ben has also held engineering and business development roles at an early-stage technology development company.

Ben holds a Master’s of Engineering Management as well as a B.E. in Mechanical Engineering from Dartmouth College. He is based on the east coast with his wife, Lindsay, and son, Maclan, where they are often on a mountain, on the water or in the woods.

Portfolio: Aras, Desktop Metal, Nexar, Proterra, Volta

Anastasia Istratova
Senior Associate

Anastasia is a Senior Associate on the investment team. She has a background in renewable energy, having previously worked at SunPower and led many of the company’s residential and commercial financing transactions. She previously held roles in investment banking and financial services, including at HSBC France in Paris. She holds a dual BSc from Northeastern University and NEOMA Reims and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Portfolio: Volta, ZincFive

Drew Kriens
Junior Associate

Drew Kriens is a Junior Associate on the investment team. He is responsible for supporting the investment team in thesis development, deal management, and general administrative activities. Prior to joining 40 North Ventures, Drew was a data analyst for Juniper Networks. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, concentrating in Finance and Entrepreneurship, with Honors from the University of Oregon in 2018.

Sarah Smith
Office Manager

Sarah Smith is Executive Assistant for the Ventures team as well as Office Manager. Prior to joining 40 North Ventures, Sarah spent 6 years as an Executive Assistant, Office Manager, and Events Coordinator at GE Ventures. Sarah is motivated, detail-oriented, and an efficient multitasker. She juggles a wide range of responsibilities including event planning, space planning, operations, and managing the day to day operations of the business. She received her Bachelors of Science in Marketing from George Mason University.