Cindy Padnos

Founder & Managing Partner
  • @cpadnos
  • Member Since:
  • Last: active 2 years, 5 months ago

Basic Information

First Name


Last Name


About Me

I am the founder & managing partner of Illuminate Ventures and a serial entrepreneur by background (Scopus Technology, Acumen, Vivant).

Illuminate’s focus is finding, funding and accelerating great teams in the B2B cloud computing space. We are particularly focused on SaaS applications, solutions that leverage Big Data and/or mobility for improved business results and consumer technologies that are being applied to the enterprise. Illuminate is typically a startup’s first institutional investor at early stages, but can also be a fit at the point where an established bootstrapped or debt financed company is seeking its first equity financing. As a micro VC, our sweet spot is $1-3M financings – filling the gap between angel capital and the large funding rounds typical of traditional VC firms.

Our portfolio includes great B2B companies like BrightEdge, CalmSea, Hoopla, Influitive, Xactly and Yozio. When the timing is right we work with some of the best large-scale VC firms for the next round of financing (e.g., Battery, Intel Capital, Lightspeed, etc.), but we love lean start-ups that want to preserve ownership and exit flexibility in their early years.

Our team is made up of experienced investors with significant operating and investment track records in our targeted investment sectors, complemented by a world-class Business Advisory Council. We work closely with talented founders to support them in building truly great companies and teams. We’ve been there as founders ourselves and know that teams made up of individuals with differentiated backgrounds and skills deliver innovative thinking with outstanding results.

Professional Information


Illuminate Ventures


Founder & Managing Partner


B2B Cloud Computing; Mobile enablement; Early-stage; Venture Capital; Enterprise software; Next generation analytics; Big Data; Enterprise Consumer; Prosumer


School Name

Carnegie Mellon University – Tepper School of Business