Legacy Committee: Kiersten Stead

Kiersten is a veteran of the Ultimate community and is currently a Venture Capital investor based in San Francisco, California with ~260M AUM. Kiersten was an early founder of the Edmonton touring teams. She moved to Edmonton in 1998 in time to co-captain the University of Alberta Open team (we came 5th!) that represented The U of A at University Nationals- which was the first national scale tournament hosted in Edmonton (TDs were Jimmy Jeong & Jamie Hoover).

She held the role of Ultimate Canada Alberta Representative for several years between 1997 and 2006, and became the Executive Director of Ultimate Canada afterward.

Following her move to Edmonton, she was one of the founder player-captains of the Edmonton Women’s competitive team, the Edmonton Junior team (coach) and the University of Alberta Women’s team (player-captain), which won gold 4 years in a row while she played (2001-2004). Kiersten competed in a dozen CUCs from 1996 onward, and played with a large number of other wonderful teams. She was also a regular selection for the National teams representing Canada at WUGC and WUCC spanning over two decades almost continuously, and over eight teams in the Open, Women’s, Mixed divisions, winning medals in most years. She most recently represented USA at WUGC in 2014 in Lecco Italy in the Master’s division. Near the end of her competitive career in Edmonton, she was the coach of the Open Varsity U of A team taking them from ~9th place to a regular finalist 3 years later. She had had the pleasure of watching several of these players go on to represent Canada in their own capacity at WUGC and WUCC.

In 2000, Kiersten and Calvin Li won the bid to host the 2001 Canadian Ultimate Championships in Edmonton. Following the successful completion of the tournament, Calvin and Kiersten- who had both been involved in volunteering around Edmonton Ultimate- donated the profit from the tournament to start a fund that could be used to maintain the community feel for the Edmonton teams. This was done because of observations of other cities around Canada, and their struggles to do the same. It was understood that this management would require qualified managers with longevity and a longer vision- and so became the Edmonton Ultimate Legacy Committee, which was founded in 2002.

Kiersten is currently a professional investor with a PhD in Genetics and Molecular Biology, and an MBA in Finance, both from the University of Alberta. Her focus is primarily on investments in technology platforms and services that improve production agriculture and adjacent industries -from biotech to chemistry to automated market platforms. These technology stacks may include biotechnology, life science disciplines, deep insider understanding of agriculture markets and product development systems- plus-software, analytics, AI and robotics. Companies need not be in agriculture or biotech today- but may have interesting uses in agriculture/ biotech later. 

Kiersten currently sits on the boards of several private companies: Farmlead, Understory (O), Plant Response, Blue River Technology (O) and is a past Director at VitalFields (acquired), She is also sits on the investment committee of the Genome Canada GAAP Program, and is an Science Advisory Board member of the Keystone Symposia. 

She has over 15 years of science, operating, and investment experience. This includes former lives as a research scientist, operator, management consultant, and life science investor.