Sapna Shah, Principal
Sapna Shah is an angel investor, retail expert and three-time entrepreneur. Through Red Giraffe Advisors, Sapna makes angel and early-stage seed investments in retail, fashion and consumer start-ups and offers advisory services to early-stage companies. Select investments include: The Wing, Message Yes, Stantt, Dough, Swoonery, Findmine, Modalyst, Monica + Andy and Iterate.ai. Sapna is also the founder of Retail X Series, a retail startup boot camp program for pre-seed stage founders who are revolutionizing the future of retail. Sapna has also served on the Board of Directors of New York Angels, one of the most active angel groups in the world.
Prior to Red Giraffe Advisors, Sapna co-founded and led Retail Eye Partners, a successful independent Wall Street equity research firm for eight years. At Retail Eye, Sapna assessed the monthly and quarterly performance of major retailers in the specialty, big box and department store sectors through intensive channel checks and analysis. Simultaneously, in 2012, Sapna co-founded a menswear e-commerce retailer, Mind the Chap, and led the Marketing and Web Development areas of the company. She also has over eight years of experience working for retailers in the specialty apparel and home furnishings sectors. Prior to the founding of Retail Eye Partners, Sapna was Executive Director of Strategy and Customer Insight at Linens ‘n Things, Inc. In this capacity, she was responsible for customer targeting and segmentation, market and consumer research, corporate strategic planning, new business rollouts and competitive benchmarking. Prior to Linens ‘n Things, Sapna was Director of Strategic Planning & New Business Development at Ann Taylor, where she worked on launching Ann Taylor’s e-commerce site, developing a color cosmetics line, visioning the store of the future and improving store operations. Sapna also has experience at Gap, Inc. Previous to her career in retail, Sapna worked in investment banking at Punk, Ziegel & Knoell and at Morgan Stanley as a credit analyst.
Sapna received her B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School as well as a B.A. in East Asian Studies from the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.
Board Member of Modalyst, an online dropshipping platform
Board Observer of Stantt, menswear offering 99 sizes for a perfect fit
Advisory Board Member of TresseNoire, on-location beauty services for women of color
Advisory Board Member of VisuWall, eye-level media with metrics that matter
Advisory Board Member of Findmine, technology that scales outfitting across a fashion retailer’s entire assortment
Board of Directors – New York Angels (2016-2017)
Member, Membership Committee – Women’s Forum of New York (2018-present)
Entrepreneurial Sounding Board Practitioner – Columbia Business School (2014-2016)
Panelist – Greenhouse Program/Lang Fund Selection Panel at Columbia Business School (2017-present)
Entrepreneur in Residence – The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (2015)
Judge – Penn Wharton Startup Challenge (2015-present)
Coach and Judge – NYU Stern $300K Entrepreneurs Challenge (2014-present)
Judge – Women Startup Challenge (2016)
Mentor – NY Fashion Tech Lab (2019-present)
Mentor – Monarq Incubator (2017-present)
Mentor – Grand Central Tech (2017-2018)
Mentor – TrendSeeder (2015-present)
Mentor, Seed Stage Advisor – XRC Labs (2015-2017)
Mentor – Friends of eBay (2017-2018)