Jason Heltzer

Partner

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Jason joined Origin Ventures as a partner in 2014. Jason is currently a board member or observer for Ahalogy, Atavium, Base, MyAlerts, Tock, and Tovala.

The prior 13 years before joining Origin, Jason worked at OCA Ventures where, as a member of the investment committee and as a general partner, he was involved in over 60 venture capital investment transactions and worked directly with founders to grow many of OCA’s portfolio companies. While at OCA, Jason led the seed round in Base CRM where he continues to serve on the board of directors. Previously, Jason had board responsibilities for Alert Logic (acquired by Welsh Carson), TradeKing, Red Foundry, Whittl and Pinpoint Health. Jason also led OCA’s investments in Cartavi (acquired by Docusign), Brightnest (acquired by Angie’s List) and FeeFighters (acquired by Groupon). Jason was named a Crain’s Chicago Business Tech 50 member in 2013.

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 selected as a Siebel 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 Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at Chicago Booth, where he teaches the venture capital and private equity lab class.

Jason serves on the board of Temple Sholom of Chicago. He also authors a blog devoted to examining startups and the venture capital business from the eyes of a former software engineer: www.ventureevolved.com.

Jason has an interest in movies, and has watched every Best Picture movie from 1927-2013, plus about 100 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.