Jason Heltzer


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Jason joined Origin Ventures as a partner in 2014 and began his career in venture capital in 2001. Jason is currently a board member or observer for Atavium, Tock, Tovala, and one unannounced investment.

Before joining Origin, Jason was a general partner at OCA Ventures where he was involved in over 60 venture capital investment transactions and worked directly with founders to grow many of OCA’s portfolio companies. Jason led OCA’s investments in Cartavi (acquired by Docusign), Base CRM (acquired by Zendesk), Brightnest (acquired by Angie’s List) and FeeFighters (acquired by Groupon). Jason also worked closely with TradeKing (acquired by Ally Bank).

Before OCA, Jason spent three and a half years as a software engineer and software architect for Deloitte Consulting. He also led engineering and business teams at 1stUp, a San Francisco-based startup.

Jason holds an MBA in finance and entrepreneurship, with high honors, from Chicago Booth, where he was a Siebel Scholar and Wallman Scholar. Jason also holds a BS in computer science, with highest distinction, from the University of Michigan, where he also founded a fraternity.

In addition to his professional responsibilities at Origin, Jason is an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at Chicago Booth, where he teaches the venture capital and private equity lab class.

Jason has an interest in movies, and has watched every Best Picture movie from 1927-present, plus about 175 documentaries. In addition, for most of his life, Jason has been addicted to video games, which is what prompted him to teach himself how to code when he was 13.

What’s your advice to first-time entrepreneurs?

If people call you crazy, you are probably doing something right. Most breakthroughs are not made by “normal” people. Instead, they are created by individuals who have examined the world more rigorously than the rest of us lazy humans, and have developed a contrarian view that they see as indisputable fact.

Also, it’s going to take longer, consume more money and be a harder journey than you anticipate, so carefully choose co-founders, employees and financial partners to help you navigate.

What’s one fun fact most people don’t know about you?

I’ve seen every movie that won the Academy Award for best picture from 1927 on. I also went to the state finals in high jump as a junior in high school, a fact that, in addition to being not well known, is also hard for people to believe.