TVA Team

 Ashley Nager  Program Manager, TVA

Ashley Nager

Program Manager, TVA

Ashley Nager

Ashley Nager is the Program Manager of TVA. Prior to TVA, she was the HR Director for UP Global (the company behind Startup Weekend, Startup Digest, Startup Week and Startup NEXT). She was one of the earliest team members and has done everything back office to help the team grow to 5 international offices located around the world. In her five years at UP Global, they reached over 200,000 entrepreneurs, hosted more than 3,000 events across 130 countries and helped thousands of companies get their start including getting into top tier accelerators around the world. Ashley brings vast experience in startup community creation as well as a very interconnected entrepreneurial network from around the world. Her home town is Seattle, Washington where she attended the University of Washington. She currently lives in Telluride full time with her husband, Marc, as well as her 4-year-old Australian Cattle Dog, Dax. Please feel free to reach out to her at

 Managing Director, TVA  VP Innovation, Telluride Foundation

Managing Director, TVA

VP Innovation, Telluride Foundation

Marc Nager

Co-Founder of Startup Weekend and former CEO of UP Global and Chief Community Officer at Techstars. Since 2009, Marc has been a leader of the startup movement around the world. He has built and scaled programs that have served more than 500,000 entrepreneurs in over 700 cities and 142 countries around the world. At UP Global he managed a team of nearly 75 people with offices in 5 international locations and oversaw Startup Weekend, Startup Next, Startup Digest, Startup Week, and Startup America. He's worked with grassroots and political leaders from around the world as well as executives at many FT500 companies around innovation and entrepreneurship. Marc and his work have been featured in many major publications around the world including Entrepreneur, Forbes, TechCrunch, TheNextWeb, The Economist, NYT, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, etc. Having grown up in Mammoth Lakes, CA, his love for the outdoors brought him back to the mountains in Telluride and he's on a mission to help create a more diversified and sustainable economy in a place that affords him the quality of life only found in a place like Telluride. Feel free to e-mail

Jesse Johnson

Founder and Managing Partner, TVA

Jesse Johnson is the Founder of the TVA. He co-founded and was CEO of Q Collection, a leading sustainable design company (now a part of Twill Textiles). He has been involved as a mentor and investor in several startup businesses and served on the board of two companies sold to a Fortune 50 company. He serves on the board of 1% For The Planet, Yale’s Center for Business and the Environment, Harvard’s Center for Health and the Global Environment and several others. Jesse has an MBA and MES (Environmental Science) from Yale and a BA from Princeton.

 Jesse Johnson  Founder and Managing Partner, TVA