In 2019, we celebrate our firm’s 20-year anniversary with 20 short stories
and lessons learned by investing over $150M in more than 70 companies
and the entrepreneurs behind their origin. These are their stories.
We are very happy to announce three promotions at Origin Ventures:
- Scott Stern to Vice President
- Prashant Shukla to Vice President
- Devon Leichtman to Director of Platform
In 2016, Scott joined Origin Ventures as a Senior Associate and brought an interesting combination of skills to our firm. He had previously helped launch a startup apparel brand, and he had been a quantitative energy trader. One of our philosophies is that the best venture capital firms are those whose people have a variety of skills and professional experiences – and Scott had success in wildly different careers, both applicable to venture capital. Scott was a student in Jason’s Chicago Booth class prior to joining Origin Ventures.
One of Scott’s first contributions was helping Origin usher in the data age in venture capital. Scott sourced several of our portfolio companies, and joined the Board of Tovala. He’s also a board observer on BacklotCars, Kidizen, Fountain and a yet-to-be-announced exciting Series A investment. He is also the firm’s chief foodie.
Prashant was an early stand-out in Jason’s Chicago Booth class. This came as no surprise when we learned he had three undergraduate degrees from UC Berkeley. Before Booth, he worked at Bain, completing assignments for the world’s most respected tech companies. After that, he was the first product manager at Metromile during its formative stages. Among other accomplishments, he launched the iOS and Android platforms for the company.
When Prashant joined Origin Ventures in 2017, he demonstrated his investment instincts when he sourced and completed an investment in his first month. He supports several portfolio companies as a board observer for 15Five, Trala, Mighty, Bonsai Analytics, and Pronto. He has also angel invested in companies such as Chariot, Cabify, Eaze, Casetext, and Apptimize.
Origin Ventures was one of the first funds between the coasts to invest in a “platform team”, launching our first iteration in 2015. When Devon joined us in 2017, after stints at GraphIQ (acquired by Amazon) and a startup accelerator, the importance of this role became even more apparent. Devon has managed to expand programming for our companies– for example, we now host four annual summits – while the number of portfolio companies has more than doubled. We see Devon’s impact on many of the most important areas of our business: those that support our portfolio companies.
Twenty years ago, Steve Miller and Bruce Barron started this firm with their own capital at a time when the Internet was a curiosity to most people, and Chicago was home to only a couple of venture funds. As we continue to build a lasting institution upon that legacy, Scott, Prashant, and Devon have demonstrated how critical each is to Origin’s future. We congratulate them on their accomplishments, look forward to continuing to learn from them, and are excited to share the privilege of working with extraordinary entrepreneurs. Alex, Brent, Bruce, Jason, and Steve