Claire_EnglandClaire England
Executive Director

Claire England brings 19 years of executive and nonprofit leadership to her role as Executive Director of CTAN, and she joined the organization in December 2014.

Claire is a Fellow in Class 21 of the Kauffman Fellowship, a prestigious two-year, Silicon Valley-based leadership program for venture capitalists and innovators of all kinds. More than 470 Kauffman Fellows have collectively deployed nearly $200B in capital and created more than 750,000 jobs worldwide. Graduates lead venture capital, government, corporate, university, and startup innovation efforts in more than 40 countries.

Prior to CTAN, Claire worked with local and international startup ecosystem projects, including SXSW Interactive, Tech Ranch, and St. Edward’s University. Previously, she was Executive Director of RISE: the Relationship & Information Series for Entrepreneurs. Under her leadership, RISE became a Forbes “Must-Attend 2013 Conference for Entrepreneurs” and more than doubled its impact on Austin’s startup ecosystem through new relationships with investors, business leaders, and corporate partners.

Claire volunteers her time as Founding Advisory Board member for the World Economic Forum’s Austin Global Shapers Hub and as a mentor for UnLtd USA, a social impact accelerator. She is a frequent speaker, moderator, and judge at startup events such as the Rice Business Plan Competition, Hamburg’s Startups@Reeperbahn & Reeperbahn Festival, Munich’s Bits & Pretzels, and SXSW Interactive. In 2013, she was a finalist for Austin Business Journal’s Profiles in Power – Women of Influence Award. A cum laude graduate of Texas State University, Claire holds a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication – Public Relations, minor in Music (cello, vocal performance).


Mark Thorsen Due Diligence Associate

Mark Thorsen
Investment Manager

Mark joined CTAN in April 2014. He manages the Funding Cycle and leads Due Diligence on all companies CTAN invests in. Prior to CTAN, Mark was the Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of San Diego and ran his own startup for 2 years for which he raised $300k in angel investment.

Mark began his career in finance where he managed the operations of JPMorgan, HSBC, and PIMCO. He graduated from UC-San Diego in three years with a degree in Economics.