Executive biographies

Gregor Freund


Gregor is a technologist, software programmer, and entrepreneur who has spent over three decades developing innovative and widely-adopted solutions to big problems.

In 2012 Gregor co-founded Versal, an online learning platform designed to transform the way people teach and learn. Today he serves as CEO, inspiring the product vision and leading business growth.

Prior to Versal, Gregor built the first desktop firewall in the world - ZoneAlarm. As the flagship product for parent company Zone Labs, ZoneAlarm secured over 100 million people and businesses against Internet attacks and malware. He sold Zone Labs to Check Point Software in 2003, joining as Chief Technology Officer for the global Internet security leader. Today Gregor still holds over a dozen core Internet, mobile, and security technology patents.

Early in his career, Gregor was a key player in the development of many game-changing technologies. In 1994 he joined former Borland CEO Philippe Kahn as a founding engineer at Starfish Software (acquired by Motorola). Starfish developed much of the core IP for device synchronization in the wireless industry.

He was also a principal software architect at Borland (developers of the legendary Turbo Pascal development environment), and founded Borland's first independent development and distribution companies in Italy and Germany.

Gregor is a self-taught engineer, a noted philanthropist, a highly-regarded speaker, and a high school dropout. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and has two kids who have emptied the nest.

Carlos Cuadra

Co-Founder & VP, Product

Carlos’ expertise lies in working with teams of various sizes and functionalities to bring high-quality software to mass audiences. At Versal, he leads product and customer success, serving internally as the voice of our users and externally as an ambassador and advocate.

Prior to Versal, Carlos was one of the first members of the Zone Labs team. He helped launch the first versions of the original ZoneAlarm firewall, working on everything from support manuals to support to QA. As the company grew, Carlos built internal support and QA teams and led the global quality initiatives for Enterprise products and partner relations releases with Cisco, Check Point, and Microsoft. Carlos has also been a member of the quality teams at RocketLawyer and PlantSense, and lives in San Francisco with his wife and two kids.

Allison Wagda

VP, Corporate Strategy & Marketing

For over 15 years, Allison has worked with technology startups and large Internet brands to take companies and products to market.

Most recently, Allison was Sr. Director of Corporate Marketing at BitTorrent Inc., where she established a wide variety of marketing and communications programs to raise visibility of new technical innovations. Previously, she led the PR launches for CTERA Networks (a Benchmark-backed hybrid cloud provider) and DroidSecurity (acquired by AVG), and helped re-launch SugarSync (a DFJ and Sigma-backed cloud sync service).

Prior to SugarSync, Allison ran global communications for Check Point Software. She first joined Silicon Valley during the "boom" at Excite@Home, later moving to SmartPipes (a Kleiner Perkins-backed IP VPN start-up). Before joining the tech industry, Allison purchased, grew and sold a profitable magazine business in Nevada, and was Editor-in-Chief of a series of award-winning travel publications.

Sarah Karlson

VP, Engineering

Sarah began her technical career as a student volunteer helping to bring computer and internet access to her Bay Area high school in the 1990s. With over 15 years of experience in software development, she has held hands-on engineering and technical leadership roles at companies ranging from a small self-funded startup to a multinational aerospace firm.

Prior to joining Versal, Sarah consulted for Chorus (acquired by RallyBound) helping them to develop their platform for social non-profit fundraising. Previously, she led the IT applications development team for Goodrich Aerostructures (part of United Technologies Aerospace Systems) and served as lead engineer for the donor-advised fund product group at Blackbaud, Inc., both in the San Diego area.

Sarah holds a degree in Information Systems from Carnegie Mellon University and resides in San Francisco.

Jonathan Speed

CFO & VP, Operations

Jonathan is a finance and business development executive with extensive experience at Fortune 1000 and start-up companies, including Manufacturers Hanover Trust, Citibank, Ernst & Young, myCFO, and STEMCompass.

He is an emeritus trustee of Brown University, board member of the Brown Entrepreneurship Program—and an adviser to several Bay Area start-up companies and non-profit organizations. As start-up support, Jonathan actively promotes diverse entrepreneurship through 1790 Media, a Bay Area organization that provides high school and college students with access to entrepreneurial learning and mentorship.

He received a BA in Political Science from Brown University and a MA in Military History from Norwich University.