Having provided management consulting for companies such as Apple and Boeing and launching her own Software as a Services (SaaS) company, Cindy Padnos believed the time was right to enter the world of venture funding, and so she founded Illuminate Ventures. Before founding Illuminate, Padnos was one of three investment professionals responsible for allocating the firm's $140 million fund. Like many VCs, Illuminate focuses on early-stage, high-tech investing, but the company also likes to support women in business. Illuminate's portfolio includes Bright Edge, CalmSea, Red Aril, Wild Pockets, and Xactly. Padnos serves on the advisory board at Carnegie Mellon's Tepper School of Business, where she received her MBA.