Learn how to leverage expert investor insights to deliver results-driven innovation for your senior living organization.

Every notable unicorn was fueled by a strategic investment in innovative technology. Uber transformed personal transport. Airbnb revolutionized hospitality. Innovators become industry game-changers where need and ease of implementation met adoption and market champions. 

Is it possible for a breakthrough technology to change the trajectory of senior living, elevating care, driving better outcomes for residents, improving the bottom line for operators, and becoming the new standard of excellence for the industry-at-large? Our expert VC panel says yes.

During this summer’s inaugural Silicon Valley Senior Living Summit, this topic was addressed with industry leaders from across the country. Now, we invite all senior living executives to this all-access Propel webinar event, to hear the latest perspectives from our esteemed panel of venture capitalists, who know firsthand how, why, and when investments in innovative technology can not only just succeed, but also radically enhance business results.

Our Moderator & Panelists

  • Talya Nevo-Hacohen, Sabra Health Care REIT, Inc. (Moderator)
  • Justin Butler, Eclipse
  • Ryan Gembala, Pathbreaker Ventures
  • Trae Stephens, Founders Fund
  • Shirley Nickels, SafelyYou
Join us for this fresh take on what drives these breakthroughs, which criteria and frameworks VC’s consider when looking for an investment with potential for exponential growth.


Talya Nevo-Hacohen
Executive Vice President, Chief Investment Officer and Treasurer, Sabra Health Care REIT, Inc.

Ms. Nevo-Hacohen has served as Sabra’s Executive Vice President, Chief Investment Officer and Treasurer since November 2010. Prior to joining Sabra, Ms. Nevo-Hacohen served as an advisor to private real estate developers and operators regarding property acquisitions and dispositions, corporate capitalization, and equity and debt capital raising and was a Managing Director with Cerberus Real Estate Capital Management, LLC, an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management, L.P., a private investment firm. From 2003 to 2006, Ms. Nevo-Hacohen served as Senior Vice President—Capital Markets and Treasurer for HCP, Inc. (now Healthpeak), a healthcare REIT. And from 1993 to 2003, Ms. Nevo-Hacohen worked for Goldman, Sachs & Co. where she was a Vice President in the investment banking division and finance, operations and administration division. Prior to her affiliation with Goldman Sachs, she practiced architecture and was associated with several architectural firms in New York.

Ms. Nevo-Hacohen received her B.A. from Yale University (1981), and her M.Arch. (1984) and M.B.A. (1993) from Columbia University. She is a trustee of Seritage Growth Properties, and serves on the board of advisors of Znest, a technology start-up serving the senior housing industry. She is a trustee of South Coast Repertory and serves on its Executive Committee, as well as Chair of U.S. Friends of Dror Israel. Ms. Nevo-Hacohen is a locally competitive masters’ division runner who continues to train and race regularly throughout southern California.


Webinar Panelists

Justin Butler
Partner, Eclipse

Justin brings to Eclipse a deep understanding of translating basic science into successful commercial operations. He aims to collaborate with founders who are working at the intersection of multiple disciplines and is particularly interested in novel approaches to complex issues in infrastructure in healthcare and life sciences.

Prior to joining the investment team at Eclipse, Justin built and led the commercial operations at Misfit, a digital health company acquired by the Fossil Group for more than $250M. Before Misfit, Justin managed the commercialization efforts in the foods, fuels, and chemicals spaces at Synthetic Genomics (SGI), a leading synthetic biology company.

Justin received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from UCSB and his MBA from MIT Sloan. He sits on the Industry Alliance Board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), and the Commercial Advisory Board of the National Science Foundation Center for Cell Manufacturing Technology (CMat).

Justin enjoys skiing, mountain biking, and sailing, and leads the Kathryn Butler Foundation in honor of his late wife where he is working to support the needs of those battling cancer, and bereaved children.

Ryan Gembala
Founder & Managing Partner, Pathbreaker Ventures

Ryan’s passion is to build novel products that impact generations. His experience spans the startup lifecycle — co-founding & operating, investing from pre-seed to series B, and acquiring venture-backed companies.

Prior to starting Pathbreaker, Ryan was a deal lead on the corporate development team at Facebook where he worked with product and engineering leadership to landscape technology ecosystems and execute acquisitions. Acquisitions worked on include Oculus, PrivateCore, LiveRail, Teehan Lax, and NimbleVR. At Facebook he focused on emerging technologies across AI/ML, Computer Vision, Virtual Reality, Security, and Product Design.

Before Facebook, Ryan was an investor and operator at Azure Capital, an early stage venture firm with $750M+ under management where he focused on consumer and enterprise problems. 

Ryan began his career as a social entrepreneur — bootstrapping and co-founding H.E.R.O. for Children, a non-profit focused on emotional health and quality of life support for children infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. H.E.R.O. recently celebrated 17 years of service, and Ryan continues to serve on the board.

Ryan earned his M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business where he began seed investing with Hyde Park Angels and won the Global Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC). He and his wife live in the San Francisco Bay Area with their three children.

Trae Stephens
Partner, Founders Fund

Trae Stephens is a partner at Founders Fund, where he invests across sectors with a particular interest in startups operating in the government space. He is also Co-founder and Executive Chairman of Anduril Industries, a defense technology company focused on autonomous systems.

Previously, Trae was an early employee at Palantir Technologies, where he led teams focused on growth in the intelligence/defense space as well as international expansion, helping large organizations solve their hardest data analysis problems. He was also an integral part of the product team, leading
the design and strategy for new product offerings. While at Palantir, Trae also served as an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown University.

Prior to Palantir, Trae worked as a computational linguist building enterprise
solutions to Arabic/Persian name matching and data enrichment within the United States Intelligence community. He began his career working in the office of then Congressman Rob Portman and in the Political Affairs Office at the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, D.C. immediately following the installation of Hamid Karzai’s transitional government. Trae graduated from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University

Shirley Nickels
Chief Operating Officer, SafelyYou

An entrepreneur and business leader with over 20 years of experience in Healthcare and IT, Shirley built SafelyYou’s customer journey and operations, including business and product roadmaps, sales and marketing plans, and customer success. Currently, she owns strategy and execution for SafelyYou’s revenue functions. Focused on client success and iterating on the SafelyYou program, Shirley and the team have successfully demonstrated 40% fewer falls & 80% fewer ER visits in partner memory care communities, where falls are the leading cause of hospitalization.

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