We have guided more than 200 founders through what you are about to experience on your way to a great exit.
We are former founders.
We are behavior change experts and blind spot transformers.
We know how to cultivate your inherent inner wisdom.
We know what you don’t know you don’t know about being a successful business leader, and we want to help you thrive!
Michael – Coach & Advisor
Jonelle – Coach & Consultant
Kim – Habit Change Expert
Bertram – Fundraising Expert
Michael Costuros | Managing Partner
Executive leadership coaching, Seed through B-stage advisor roles, & Off-sites
After 6 years as the founder of an investor-backed startup that achieved $2.5MM in ARR I was fired by my CEO co-founder. As a master generalist there was no room for me when the company needed an executive team of experts. Now that was a wake up call!
After some soul searching I realized that what I loved most about being a founder was mentoring and developing people and teams. My former executive coach, Bryan Franklyn, took me on as an apprentice and I began my career as an executive coach.
Since 2010 my full time job has been helping founders solve the most gut-wrenching issues they face as their company growth rockets toward the next round of funding.
Co-founder conflicts, forced resignations, attempted coups, RIFs, showdowns with the board. You name it, and I have guided my clients through to the best possible outcome.
The Thriving Partners firm is the next chapter of my life’s work. We are a team of experts, most of whom have been VC backed founders and operators, dedicated to transforming new leaders into exceptional leaders. Our legacy will be measured in the amount of our clients who become recognized as great leaders and found companies that make the world a better place.
What I'm proud of
I began coaching in 2010 after being fired from my startup. Why I’m proud of that is a longer story!
+ in 2002 I co-founded a tech startup called liveBooks.com. During the 6 years that I was on the exec team, we ramped up to 60 employees across 3 locations and achieved $2.5MM in ARR. We also earned the position of industry-leading brand. My co-founders and I faced every kind of business-threatening challenge you can imagine, including the 2008 finacial crisis that cost us our Series-A. Friction between my co-founder CEO and I came to a head and resulted in him firing me. A lesson that I find incredibly valuable still to this day, as most of my clients experience co-founder conflict between the A and B rounds. Today, liveBooks.com is still thriving under the company that acquired it.
+ Since 2010, I have worked with more than 150 startups and 300 clients, clocking more than 9,500 hours of coaching time. Many of my clients are considered top founders and CEOs, as judged by 30 under 30, YC, and other sources. I am proud to have over 40 authentic recommendations on my LinkedIn profile. My former client network is a priceless resource pool that my new clients benefit from immediately.
I have also taken the opportunity to coach partners at VC firms. Understanding both the investor/board side, as well as the founder side, enables me to understand and resolve conflicts between them quickly.
+ Until I launched Thriving Founders, I was a founding partner at Neuberg, Gore & Associates. NGA is one of the most respected exec coaching firms in San Francisco. The collective experience of my network of coaches gives me direct access to the best practices in any area of business.
I am certified in the Saturn Leadership Index, which is an extraordinary 360 instrument developed specifically for the venture backed startup executive, as well as their C.U.B.E. communication model.
+ I have more than 2,500 hours of coaching related training, including NLP psychology, conflict mediation, empathic leadership, whole person culture, non-violent communication, and the California Leadership executive coaching program.
Despite my experience I learn something new with every coaching session. It’s my continued growth as a coach and passion for my work that makes me confident that I will make a truly life-changing difference for you, both professionally and personally.
If you are a founder who aspires to realize their full potential as a leader, avoid the many startup pitfalls, live an extraordinary life, and leave the world better than you found it, then let’s talk!
Jonelle, PCC; MSW; MBA
Executive Coach & Culture Change Expert
Jonelle’s exceptional education, her 25 years of operational and strategic leadership consulting experience, along with her deep psycho-spiritual practices make her a uniquely effective executive coach and life coach. I feel privileged to call her my colleague.
Dedicated to making the world a better place through raising the consciousness, skill set and effectiveness of today’s startup leaders, it’s Thriving Founder’s shared mission and vision that inspired her to join the team in 2021.
As an Executive Coach and Leadership Consultant, Jonelle is informed by her international experience in designing Leadership Training, Organization Development and Culture Change processes.
Jonelle has worked with clients at three primary levels:
- At a SYSTEMIC level, helping executives design and mobilize their organizations while experiencing rapid growth and stewarding cultural change.
- At a GROUP level, helping teams become more effective and collaborative in the midst of rapidly changing environments, responsibilities and processes
- At an INDIVIDUAL level by enabling C-suite and VP executives to develop higher levels of self-awareness, taking on behavior change and increasing their effectiveness in measurable ways.
Her partial list of executive coaching and consulting clients include executives and managers in High Tech, Pharma, Financial, Social Enterprises and Retail, such as – Cisco, Gap, Inc., Yellow Pages, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co, UC Berkeley, d.light Design, Hoffman-La Roche, Genentech, Zymergen, Inc. and Salesforce. She has also played business development roles in 2 Management Consultancies — Mercer Human Resource Consulting and Right Management Consultants.
Jonelle’s coaching approach and toolbox are informed by her expertise in Business Leadership and Management, Psychology, Counseling and Secular-spiritual processes.
- She is a certified Executive Coach from New Ventures West, where she has also been Adjunct Faculty. As an Integral Coach she works with clients to fully integrate the various aspects of their personalities as they gain more awareness of their unique strengths and capabilities.
- She also holds an advanced Coaching certification and is faculty coach in a trauma-informed Life Coaching program called Integral Unfoldment. Using this approach she holds space for deep, courageous and liberating inquiry, so her clients can lead with confidence, clarity and purpose.
- She is a Breathwork and Mindfulness practitioner, a Zen student and a certified Reiki Master. She has also studied with several teachers from various contemplative traditions.
- Jonelle’s passion and deep background in various healing modalities that also guide and inform her Executive Coaching and Life Coaching and the leadership consulting that she provides to executives and leaders at all levels
In addition to the executive coaching client list, Jonelle has held internal and external consulting roles in Organization Development and Leadership Development at various companies in the tech, biotech, retail, and education sectors.
Her deep experience in business and coaching is built on the foundation of her formal degrees and certifications.
- An MBA from Temple University; a Masters in Psychiatric Counseling and Social Work; a bachelors in Psychology
- A trained facilitator in the Technology of Participation from the Institute of Cultural Affairs
- A master facilitator of group off-sites and has designed and implemented training on various topics in the leadership management space
- Other certifications include assessment tools such as – Lominger Certified in Leadership Architect ®, Voices 360 and Choices Architect; the 16 PF Personality Assessment
- And yet others include Managing Organizations in Transition – William Bridges; Prosci Change Management; PMI Project Management; Interaction Associates’ Facilitative Leadership.
Jonelle grew up in India and was steeped in various musical and contemplative traditions as a child. These traditions and practices are still a deep source of inspiration and an integral part of her life and what she brings to her clients today. She has made the US her home for the past 25 years, currently residing in the San Francisco Bay Area. She thinks of herself as a lifelong learner and a deep inquirer into the nature of human development. When not engaged with her clients or developing herself, Jonelle is found connecting with a diverse community of family, friends and fellow travelers with whom she engages in light-hearted, fun adventures and mutually supportive relationships.
In her first career, Jonelle was a Psychiatric Counselor and worked in communities with patients and families of mentally ill adults.
Bertram Meyer | Guest Expert
Available for series A, B and C fundraising coaching as well as Seed Stage fundraising for equity
Kim Iglinsky | Transformation Specialist
Certified NLP Master, Life Coach & Psychedelic Microdosing Expert
Kim is a certified transformational Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) master, life coach, Nonviolent Communication for Leadership, (NVC), as well as a master of Emotional Freedom Technique, (EFT).
Her startup experience comes from being married to me during my startup years and working with many of my executive coaching clients who I refer her way.
Kim has established herself as an expert in microdosing psilocybin for mood and performance enhancement, and you can find her on Clubhouse speaking on these topics.
She is also an expert outcome focused prep and integration coach for ayahuasca, a skill she learned while co-facilitating my ayahuasca retreats in Peru.
Our executive coaches often have their clients do a few sessions with Kim during their program. She’s able to help resolve the most stubborn subconscious blocks using NLP and EFT techniques.
Many clients choose to work with Kim for microdosing or NLP independent of their executive coaching program.
In her former life Kim was a top runway model, and I only mention that because if you Google her name, that’s all you’re going to see, pretty unusual!