Meet Our Newest CEO

We recently welcomed Lawrence Ganti to the Prelude team as CEO. Prelude, our venture in the deathcare space, is in the perfect phase to bring on impressive talent like Lawrence. As we acquire early funeral home customers and get in front of real people across Oklahoma who are pre-planning through Prelude, we’re continuing to develop new product features and capabilities. We’re incredibly excited that Lawrence Ganti is coming on to lead Prelude through its next phase of growth. 

Lawrence was the most impressive candidate we spoke to during our rigorous hiring process. His range of experience stood out, with multiple roles leading large, global companies and multi-thousand-person teams and, more recently, his focus on startups and the venture space. He has already brought energy and vision to the team and pushed us to imagine new and better offerings for clients and customers. 

We recently asked Lawrence to share his experience, what attracted him to 19days and Prelude, and what convinced him to move his family from the East Coast and start this chapter in Tulsa. 

Tell us a bit about yourself — Where are you from originally? Do you have a family? What do you enjoy doing? 

I was born and raised in northern New Jersey. I’m first generation, born to an Indian father and a Chinese mother. I am married to my wife, Carolina. Together we have a one year old son, named Blake, and a Husky, named Tsuki. I like exploring new places and enjoying simple, ethnic food – rustic Italian is amongst my favorites. I also enjoy coffee. My wife is from the coffee region of Colombia, so I’ve come to have high standards. I used to play a lot of tennis. I played semi-pro and had a ranking in Switzerland, France, and Brazil, but I’ve never played much in the US. 

Can you give us a quick walk-through of your professional background, and what you were doing most recently? 

I have 30+ years of experience leading companies through transformations, transitions, and scale-ups with a track record of building profitable businesses, commercializing new technologies, and raising funds through private and government sources. 

I’ve led organizations across the business lifecycle from start-ups to mid-caps and public entities. More recently, I’ve been focused on transitioning and scaling from the R&D phase to the commercialization phase. Throughout my career, I’ve lived and operated companies in North America, Latin America, Western Europe, the Middle East, North Asia, and South Asia, sometimes with as many as 6,000 employees. 

One of my passions is also being a strategic advisor and mentor to various start-up founders, and I  serve on the board of various start-ups across multiple industry segments. In 2023, I became the Entrepreneurial Leader in Residence at the Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship at Babson College.

Had you been looking for a new role? If so, were you specifically interested in the venture space? And, what were you looking for in your next role? 

I was looking for a new role — my next opportunity to learn. My career is a mix of large companies and ventures. The last 5-7 years have been more focused on the venture space. I was looking for an early venture and for something in the Heartland as I was getting tired of the East Coast / West Coast thing. 

How did you first come to learn about Tulsa, and what first brought you here?

I serve on the board of Canopy Healthtech, a George Kaiser Family Foundation organization, and I was invited to Tulsa to judge in one of their new business pitch competitions.  When I came, I met a number of stakeholders involved in growing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Tulsa, and I was super impressed with their genuine desire to collectively build and grow Tulsa. I immediately felt attracted to that collective sense of purpose and drive. 

What made you interested in the Prelude opportunity?

Prelude is a disruptive product in an industry looking for change. I love how the company was incubated by 19days and Gitwit. The rigor applied to problem assessment is not something you find in the venture world. Most startups start from a single founder vision. A solution is developed and then customers are brought on board. Many startups end up pivoting, learning as they go. With Prelude and 19days, a ton of time and energy was spent on understanding the problem. It didn’t start as a vision. This understanding of the problem using a methodical research approach is not the norm. It’s more akin to how large companies look at a problem and build a solution. This approach eliminates a significant amount of risk.

Why do you think Tulsa is special, and venture in Tulsa is special?

Tulsa has an amazing history. It was once the center of entrepreneurship for the oil industry. Over the years, the importance of industry changes and, with that, the importance of Tulsa. I truly believe that Tulsa is going through a rebirth of sorts. Tulsa will once again become a center for entrepreneurship. Running a venture here provides an amazing opportunity to help contribute to and shape that rebirth.