Annie Lapides


Growing up in southwest Missouri, I knew three things to be true: frozen custard is a food group, Bass Pro Shops is an institution, and treat everyone as your neighbor. And while I knew I’d always be rooted in Midwestern values, as I grew closer to adulthood I knew I wanted to gain additional perspectives.

As an avid outward bound summer-camp-kid, I spent 4 weeks every July hiking mountains in the pristine Rockies with kids from all over the world. No phones, no computers, and just the outdoors. In this setting, my ability to genuinely connect with someone else and understand their journey came natural to me. From a young age, I was constantly inspired by those who think and see things differently.

I was hooked on the wild west, and after college in Denver I headed even farther west to San Francisco. The phrase “Silicon Valley” was not uttered too frequently as a Midwesterner, so the lure of this ecosystem of innovation was intriguing to me. At Silicon Valley Bank, I was given the platform to work with some of the best entrepreneurs and investors in the world by providing creative capital solutions for startups and connecting them to the best resources. I knew I wanted to dedicate my career to helping entrepreneurs succeed.

It wasn’t long before I got the itch to get back to the mountains. My friends and peers said leaving the Bay Area would stunt my career growth and close many doors, but I believed the opposite. What I found when I moved back to Denver in 2017 was a supportive, gritty, and flourishing startup community. I felt lucky to be surrounded by amazing people who opened their networks to me.

In 2019 I joined the investment team at Techstars, allowing me to make an impact at an even larger scale. We were making innovation accessible to anyone, everywhere. I truly believe that extraordinary people + community = magic.

Along the way I always followed my desire to work with incredible people. At Drive, people are at the core of our investment strategy. The emphasis on human capital aligning around one goal matters. Drive is ready to make that happen for companies in Colorado, and I’m here to champion that.