The Fountain Team

Our team has significant operating and investing experience with growth companies.  We have the ability to quickly assess any business financing need and provide immediate feedback.  There is only one decision layer at Fountain and we do not have a fixed criteria either to define either the companies that we work with or the repayment terms.  Our clients may or may not have institutional equity sponsors.

Tom Carter, CFA

Founder, Managing Partner

Tom Carter founded Fountain Partners in 2006.  Prior to Fountain Partners, Tom held Vice President of Operations and Chief Financial Officer roles at Starmine (acquired by Thomson Reuters). Tom was an equity research analyst at Piper Jaffray in San Francisco covering e-commerce, internet banking, payments, online trading, exchanges, credit, real estate and software companies enabling large scale financial services companies.  Prior to Piper Tom spent five years in private capital and two years in commercial real estate.  Tom graduated with B.A. and M.S. in Finance degrees from Bentley University.  Tom is a CFA Charterholder and past member of the Ethics and Continuing Education Committee of the CFA Institute San Francisco.  Tom has been a teacher of the game of basketball through youth, AAU and high school programs and continues to play regularly.

John O. Van Hooser

Managing Partner

John O. Van Hooser joined Fountain in 2010 after serving as an advisor to the company during 2009.  John’s background includes 15 years experience in due diligence, structuring, negotiation and management of venture and growth stage companies as a private equity and venture stage investor with J.P. Morgan Capital and as a General Partner at M/C Partners.  During that time, John served as a board member or active observer on the boards of 14 portfolio companies.  John’s investment career has spanned venture, growth and buyout investments in the media and communications, IT services and healthcare sectors. John started his career as an Associate Consultant at Bain and Company and served as a Senior Financial Analyst in Studio Strategic Planning for The Walt Disney Company immediately prior to business school.  John earned an MBA from The Harvard Business School and a BA, Magna Cum Laude from Dartmouth College.

Afsheen Sharifi, CFA


Afsheen Sharifi joined Fountain in 2010 as an Associate focusing on credit analysis and fund operations.  Afsheen had several years of direct operating experience in accounting, financial reporting and budgeting prior to joining Fountain.  In addition, Afsheen performed investment manager diligence as an intern at Hamilton Lane and served as an Associate in wealth management at First Republic Bank.  Afsheen earned B.S. degrees in Corporate Finance and Financial Services from San Francisco State University and is a CFA Charterholder.  He is a member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the North Bay and remains active in the community as a black-belt karate instructor teaching children and adults the values of the martial arts curriculum.

Justin Chin

Director of Business Development

Justin Chin joined Fountain Partners in 2011 focusing on business development. Prior to joining Fountain Partners, Justin worked as a financial reporting analyst at Fidelity Investments and was a senior account executive at Brighton House Associates. Justin earned a B.S. in Finance from Bentley University, where he also played varsity hockey. Outside of the office, Justin enjoys golf, hockey, scuba diving, traveling, and following the Boston sports teams.

Rachel Parlo


Rachel Parlo joined Fountain Partners in 2019 as an Accountant and brings experience from various industries to help her lead many of Fountain’s accounting processes.  Rachel’s previous accounting experience includes roles at a growing technology company and a wine business in California’s wine country.  She earned a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from Sonoma State University. She enjoys traveling, music, and Giants baseball (Go Giants!).