Founder, CEO, Angel Investor, Board Member, Advisor, and Mentor
Zeynep Ilgaz is a partner and co-founder of Cross Ocean Ventures, a founder focused venture capital firm that funds and mentors European startups expand to the US market. Before Cross Ocean, Mrs. Ilgaz was the co-founder and CEO of Confirm Biosciences, a national provider of diagnostic products for human and wellness testing, acquired by Clinical Reference Laboratory in 2021. At Confirm, Mrs. Ilgaz was responsible for leading the Company through its most significant challenges and opportunities and gaining national retail distribution for Its flagship products, Drug Confirm™ and Health Confirm™. She has been central for Confirm achieving national distribution with retailers including Walmart, Rite Aid, CVS, and Walgreens with over 20,000 stores of distribution. In addition, she worked diligently in product innovation, manufacturing, supply chain, and operations.
Mrs. Ilgaz is passionate about giving back to the community and educating future entrepreneurs. While CEO at Confirm, she also started the philanthropic arm called “We Care, People over Profit,” where a percentage of profits are for charity causes. Mrs. Ilgaz and her husband recently established the Ilgaz- Pala Family SDSU- Aztec Cooperative Fund Endowment to support aspiring student entrepreneurs in their journey.
Mrs. Ilgaz is originally from Istanbul, Turkey, and moved to San Diego, CA to pursue her MBA at SDSU. Before moving to the US, she worked in the financial sector in Turkey as an auditor at Deloitte. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Economics from Bosporus University, Turkey.
Ilgaz frequently contributes to outlets such as Entrepreneur Magazine, Forbes, and The Huffington Post, where she discusses topics ranging from growth and leadership to startup financing.
Board & Advisory Roles:
Confirm Biosciences, Board of Advisor
Endometrics, Board of Advisor
Berkeley Skydeck, Board of Advisor
National Institute of Health, Board of Advisor
The Campanile Foundation, Board of Director
The Old Globe, The Old Glober
Awards and Recognitions:
National Association of Directors – Certified Director
E&Y, Entrepreneur of the Year, San Diego
SDBJ Women Who Mean Business Award
SDBJ Most Admired CEO
INC Best Places to Work For (2 years)
INC 5000 Fastest Growing Company in the US (5 years)
SDBJ Best Places to Work For (3 years)
SD Chamber, Outstanding Emerging Business
Professional Activities/ Memberships:
Berkeley Skydeck Fund, Limited Partner
1414 Ventures, Limited Partner
Golden Seeds Angel Network, Investor
Entrepreneur Magazine, Columnist
San Diego Rotary Club 33, Member