HOF’s 2021 Summer Fellowship

Meet our 2021 Fellows, hailing from 6 different countries, bringing experience including engineering at NASA and founding a $1m AUM fund.

Each year, HOF has the pleasure of hosting talented students who join us for the summer as Venture Fellows. These Fellows work alongside HOF’s full-time team on high-value projects (trust us, there are no coffee runs!) including investment due diligence and portfolio support. In turn, they gain exposure to day-to-day life at a VC firm as well as hands-on experience working on venture deals.

This past summer we had the pleasure of working with six amazing Fellows. These Fellows represented a diverse set of academic interests, professional goals, and personal backgrounds (fun fact: each of our six of our Fellows hailed from a different country of origin). During their time with HOF, they explored areas including blockchain gaming, the creator economy, BNPL, and computational biology, among other high-growth spaces. Furthermore, Fellows contributed to our reviews of dozens of investment opportunities, including several which became HOF portfolio companies.

Below are brief profiles on the talented Fellows that we had the pleasure of working with during Summer 2021:

Alexa Spagnola

Alexa is a rising senior at Penn studying electrical engineering and entrepreneurship. In addition to her work at HOF, she is currently Managing Partner of Dorm Room Fund’s national summer team. Previously, Alexa has spearheaded a consumer electronics product at Google, developed an NLP project within the National Security Innovation Network, founded a medical device startup, and worked as part of a NASA hardware team. She has frequented the hackathon scene as both a PennApps organizer and MLH competitor, and led a team to build a SaaS platform that won the NYUAD International Hackathon for Social Good. In her free time, Alexa loves skiing, surfing, and playing soccer.

Faris Alwahedi

Faris previously worked as a transformation specialist in Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, where he led cost-saving initiatives and executed value creation strategies. Prior to that, he served as a business planning specialist overseeing strategic investments, budget, and compliance. In 2017, Faris led the business development of a blockchain hospitality startup, before proceeding to create two startups of his own. Faris is a graduate of Penn State, and is an MBA candidate at Harvard Business School.

Haoran Wen

Haoran is a Venture Fellow at HOF Capital. Born in China and raised in New Zealand, Haoran attends the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania majoring in Finance and Business Analytics. Previously, he worked at Hendale Capital, a private capital fund investing globally in niche growth tech businesses. Haoran is an avid fan of streetwear fashion, follows the NBA, and enjoys pickup basketball in his free time.

Koki Mashita

Koki is a rising senior at a high school in California (our youngest inten yet!), his business ventures began when he was only 12, and quickly evolved when he first started investing in Bitcoin as a casual hobby in high school and today manages over $1m in AUM as co-founder of the investment firm Lallic Partners, an International student-led investment firm that embraces new investment ideals of Algorithmic Investing and ESG Investing. Koki is originally from Japan and also lived in Singapore for 6 years.In his spare time, Koki enjoys cooking, skiing, swimming, and traveling.

Tahseen Rashid

Tahseen is a senior at Colby College majoring in Economics and Mathematics. He grew up in Australia and Bangladesh and went to boarding school in the Netherlands. Prior to HOF Capital, he advised with Tiger Global, worked with Kormo in Bangladesh and Indonesia, Empowerment Capital in New York and NXTP Ventures in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is an Arsenal fan :‘’-( who is sometimes caught watching mukbangs at 1am.

Tim Backstrom

Tim is a venture fellow at HOF Capital where he focuses on the fintech industry. Alongside HOF, he is completing his MBA at Harvard Business School where he is a Rock Venture Partner. Originally from Sweden, Tim spent the beginning of his career working in investment banking in London before moving to Visa. Before business school, he also spent 1.5 years building an alternative investment platform for off-grid solar assets in Africa. Outside of work, Tim spends most of his time at the gym or exploring restaurants and cafés around the Boston and New York area. He is also working on launching a fintech podcast together with a fellow HBS alumni.