Valla Vakili

Valla Vakili

Head, Venture Innovation

"It’s moments of change – in technology, society, and industry – that inspire me to search for and create the possibilities that only the unexpected can bring."

Expertise

Digital Product, Venture Incubation, Growth Strategy, Strategic Partnerships, Team Building

Bio

As Head of Venture Innovation at Citi Ventures, Valla leads the development of products and services that drive growth and differentiation for Citi. His global team combines a deep entrepreneurial bench with end-to-end digital capabilities to deliver forward-looking solutions and capabilities in the areas of Blockchain & Digital Assets, Public-Private Innovation, Racial Equity Design & Data Initiative (REDDI), and Wealth.

Previously, Valla founded Citi Ventures Studio, where he led the creation of two online platforms that support economic growth for people (Worthi® by Citi) and cities (City Builder® by Citi) and oversaw theCiti® University Partnerships in Innovation & Discovery (CUPID) program (now part of Citi HR) to help embed diverse students from leading universities in innovation efforts across Citi. Prior to that he helped create theD10X® program (now part of Citi’s consumer and institutional businesses) as its first Entrepreneur in Residence, mentoring Citi teams in entrepreneurial principles to help them reimagine consumer financial services.

Valla began his career at Yahoo, creating revenue-driving products and teams that anticipated shifting online customer behavior. He is a former digital startup founder and CEO, experience that gave him valuable insight into the peaks and valleys of entrepreneurship.

A graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, Valla has conducted doctoral research at the University of Oxford and holds patents for inventions in interactive television content delivery and commerce. He also is a fan of fine whisky, great fiction, and good movies.