We are a powerful team made up of seasoned entrepreneurs and experienced investors who are experts at finding great people with unique ideas and potential. Our vast, combined expertise (which includes, though is not limited to, entrepreneurship, technology, finance, adtech, enterprise software, sales execution, HR, operations, product development, ecommerce, digital marketing, branding, mobile tech, retail, and manufacturing) can help you attain the true potential of your idea or product.
Co-Founder & Partner
Rudy enjoys working with people and helping them succeed. He thrives in building mode, whether directly or through actively supporting the entrepreneurs he’s backed. He loves reading, playing poker and learning new things – especially if they involve technology of some sort. Rudy is currently passionate about a wide range of activities that include sending the first pre-minted NFT into space, facilitating micro-learning, the Brain Project, and desalination of ocean water, to name just a few.
He is the Founder and Managing Partner of Karlani Capital. Earlier, Rudy was the CEO of Kenexa, an enterprise HR SaaS company which he founded, took public in 2005 and then sold to IBM in 2012 in a record deal. He also sits on numerous Boards.
Rudy has been recognized multiple times for his entrepreneurial and humanitarian achievements and is the author of a New York Times bestselling book on employee engagement, We.
Rudy holds a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics from the University of Waterloo.
Co-Founder & Partner
Nyla is an entrepreneur who brings a relentless commitment to driving social change to her pursuits. In addition to co-founding Karlani Capital, she has founded and worked closely on a number of other startups in the technology, retail and hospitality sectors. Nyla has experience on both for- and non-profit boards and currently serves on the board of The Citizenry and as Chair of the Rail Park. As an investor, Nyla loves working with founders who are equal parts hustle and vision and leverages her experience in finance, governance and startup operations to help Karlani portfolio companies build businesses that bring positive change to the world.
Nyla graduated with Highest Honors from Emory University and has lived all over the world including in New York, Buenos Aires, London and Toronto. Currently, she lives in Philadelphia with her family.
Don Volk managed Kenexa’s finances from 1996 through 2013, and played a major role in the growth and development of the company through his systematic approach to financial stewardship. In addition, he provided Kenexa’s customers the security of knowing that an experienced Chief Financial Officer oversees the company’s assets. Don has been a Certified Public Accountant for more than 30 years and, prior to joining Kenexa, was a partner in the accounting firm of Brinker, Simpson, Nicastro & Volk.
Don holds a Master of Science degree in Taxation from Villanova University School of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Villanova University. You are most likely to find Don reading financial statements (for fun), spending time with his family, or on the golf course.
SHAHZIL (SHAZ) AMIN
Shaz, is the founder multiple companies two if which on two different ends of the spectrum. The first is Performance Agency, a performance-based online advertising company which he started right out of high school. The second is Plugged Inc., which is a premium headphone brand inspired by verge culture that he started during his senior year in college. In April 2014, Blue Track Media was acquired by Karlani Capital, where Shaz now takes on the role of Managing Partner.
In his free time he loves watching and competitively playing basketball and various other sports. He's a huge Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Cowboys fan, so don't dare to talk trash about his teams. He's also a sucker for midnight movie premieres and Buffalo Wild Wings. He values sincere, hard-working people with big hearts and is always happy to help out where he can. Although he's now a Managing Partner with Karlani, he still considers himself an entrepreneur and will never lose that hustler mentality. He urges people he doesn't know to reach out to him anytime, whether via email or in person, and introduce themselves and their ideas. Shaz graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in Finance, however he prefers to be known as a graduate of the School of Hard Knocks.
Kevin Dutcher is currently a Managing Partner at Karlani Capital and cofounder of a stealth-stage startup. Before joining Karlani Capital, Kevin was part of the Smarter Workforce organization at IBM leading product and research teams applying behavioral and performance data to improve workplace outcomes by leveraging AI and the Watson product. He also served as a board member on IBM's Global IP Review Board evaluating all internal research and ideas in order to determine value and validity of the intellectual property.
Kevin held technical leadership positions for over 15 years for numerous software startups in search, e-learning, and data analytics sectors. Kevin received a BS in Computer Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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Steve spent most of his career in the life insurance industry with roles in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. When he retired from full-time employment in 2016, he formed Mannik Advisory where he pursues his passion for helping startup companies innovate in the InsureTech and FinTech space.
He spends his winters in Florida where he can pursue his golf addiction, but his number one passion is his grandchildren. Steve holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from the University of Waterloo and he is a Fellow of both the Society of Actuaries and the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.