Our Approach



Every day, some new technology is born. Thousands of concepts exist, but they rarely succeed.

To create something people love takes more than a prototype and a spreadsheet, more than a business model or a brief. Features and benefits aren’t enough for a product to delight or motivate people. The experience has to be engaging.

At Mix & Stir, “Design Driven” means an intense focus on the customer. A passion to understand their pain points and find the opportunities to please. A willingness to cross boundaries, to listen closely, accept a different perspective. It also means a willingness to work within constraints – a bottom line, distribution channels, competitive pressures, marketing realities.

Anyone who’s worked with a startup knows it’s a special kind of crazy. You need a high tolerance for chaos, remarkable resilience and a thirst for risk within reason. We are looking for these people.

If this sounds like you, let us know.



ChristopherChristopher Ireland spent most of her career as a founder and CEO at Cheskin, a design research and consulting firm emphasizing innovation through a deep understanding of people, culture and change. Her work includes brand and product strategies for Microsoft, HP, Intel and Apple, as well as consulting for brands serving global youth markets including Pepsi and Coca-Cola. She is currently advising early stage startups and teaching entrepreneurship at CCA.



GaryIwataniGary Iwatani has over 20 years of operations and finance experience working with enterprise and consumer software, internet and digital media companies.   He was COO and co-founded Topsy Labs which powers the world’s largest search index and analytics platform for Twitter data.   Prior to this, he was President/COO of Cloudmark where he worked to successfully commercialize the world’s largest collaborative messaging security platform. He has been CFO of numerous successful companies including Liquid Audio (IPO 1999) and Berkeley Systems (acquired by Cendant) and is an advisor to several technology-based startups.


MaryAnne_SideMary Anne Masterson focuses on the intersection of marketing strategy, design innovation and new product development. She was previously the Director of Brand Innovation and a Strategy Director at Frog Design, a global innovation leader. She also spent several years at Microsoft, where she led marketing strategy, new product development, and user experience initiatives for the Xbox Experience Group, the Windows Consumer Product Group, and Corporate Marketing & Strategy. She has worked with global leaders, privately held companies, entertainment organizations and early stage start-ups.


HiroshiWHiroshi Wald leads US operations for an early-stage ($38M) international venture capital fund as the Managing Director of Austral Capital, where he focuses on identifying and developing successful entrepreneurs in high growth industries. Hiroshi also serves on the Executive Board of the MIT/Stanford Venture Lab. His diverse background includes multiple entrepreneurial efforts, as well as serving as Staff Assistant in The White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.




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