Management Team

Jason Johnson, Managing Partner

Jason Johnson - Managing Partner  

Jason is the co-founder and CEO of August. Previously he was the CEO and co-founder of AirCover as well as co-founder of BookShout!. With 20 years of experience marketing technology products, Jason was a resident entrepreneur and Vice President at Dolby Laboratories, having developed their first venture business. Previously, he served as the Vice President of Marketing & Business Development for Global IP Solutions (acquired by Google) and was the co-founder and CEO of InterQuest Communications (acquired by Darwin Networks).

Jonathan Abrams, Managing Partner

Jonathan Abrams - Managing Partner  

Jonathan Abrams is the founder & CEO of Nuzzel, the super-easy way to see news from your friends. Previously, Jonathan was the founder & CEO of Socializr, Friendster, and HotLinks, and a software engineer at companies such as Netscape and Nortel. Jonathan is a mentor in Steve Blank’s entrepreneurship classes at Stanford and Berkeley, a top-rated mentor at The Founder Institute, an advisor to AngelList and LeanLaunchLab, and has been extensively involved in the Silicon Valley entrepreneurial community for over ten years, including as a long-time member of the advisory board of the Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs (SVASE), co-chair of the SDForum Venture Finance SIG, moderator of the SVASE CTO Forum, and a judge for the Stanford Entrepreneur’s Challenge business plan contest, the UC Berkeley Business Plan Competition, the Stanford-Berkeley Innovators’ Challenge, the Intel Challenge, and Start-Up Chile.

Michael Levit, Managing Partner

Michael Levit - Managing Partner  

Michael is a serial entrepreneur working on his fifth startup, Spigot Inc., which he co-founded in 2008. Prior to Spigot Michael ran the business side of Vendio, an eCommerce platform, where he grew transactions to $1.5+ billion/year before selling the business to Chinese giant Alibaba. Michael’s previous experience includes starting AOL’s Broadband division, running sales and marketing at Hearme and Paltalk, co-founding and overseeing Business Development at a venture between Softbank, Martha Stewart, Kmart and Yahoo, and working in Accenture’s technology and strategy consulting practice where he co-founded the Internet Center in Palo Alto some 16 years ago.

Zachary Bogue, Managing Partner

Zachary Bogue - Managing Partner  

Zack is co-founder and co-managing partner of Data Collective, a venture fund that backs entrepreneurs applying deep tech to transform giant industries. Data Collective’s portfolio includes Planet Labs, Tala, LendUp, Kaggle*, Rescale* and Zymergen. Zack has over fifteen years of experience in Silicon Valley as an entrepreneur, lawyer, advisor and angel investor in start-ups such as Square, Uber and Founders Den alumni SocialCam, ThirdLove and Docker. Previously, Zack co-founded Montara Capital Partners, a real estate private equity fund where he was the managing partner. Zack serves on the Advisory Board of the East Palo Alto Charter School, a top-performing K-12 charter school is a member of the board of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

Adriana Gascoigne, Partner

Adriana Gascoigne - Partner  

Adriana is the Founder and CEO of Girls in Tech, an educational non-profit organization launched in February 2007. In addition to serving as Partner at Founders Den, she is the Director of Marketing for Roost, a peer-to-peer storage solution. Previously, Adriana worked in mCommerce as the CMO for QwikCart, launched eLearning platform, HelpLearn.Asia, and was VP of Marketing at SecondMarket. Adriana also has worked at and advised numerous technology startups, more notably Indiegogo, Algentis, ImpulseFlyer, Poliwogg, PressFriendly,, LustreLife, CharityBlossom, DooChoo, and In 2009, Adriana launched SmittenWithMittens, which is now “The YOUniform Project,” a philanthropy providing fair trade uniforms and educational resources to children in developing countries. Adriana holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Economics from the University of California at Davis and a business certification from El Tecnologico de Monterrey in Aguascalientes, Mexico. Adriana is fluent in Spanish and speaks some Japanese.

Brad Bowery, Partner

Brad Bowery - Partner  

Brad is a co-founder of Pace Avenue, a company on a mission to modernize 10 million homes, in order to reduce energy and water consumption in communities across the U.S. He was previously a co-founder and CEO of SRECTrade, a popular solar energy trading software company. Brad has a bachelor’s degree from Brown, where he was one of the top ten pole vaulters in Ivy League history, and an MBA from Stanford, where he served on the board of the Stanford Entrepreneurship network, the cross-campus leadership group that organizes Stanford’s E-Week. In his free time, he is an avid kitesurfer, skier, and ice hockey player.

Carlie Long, Community and Office Manager

Carlie Long - Community and Office Manager  

Carlie oversees day-to-day operations and special events at Founders Den.


Charles Hudson, Advisor

Charles Hudson  

Charles Hudson is the Managing Partner and Founder of Precursor Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm focused on investing in the first institutional round of investment for the most promising software and hardware companies. Prior to founding Precursor Ventures, Charles was a Partner at SoftTech VC. In this role, he focused on identifying investment opportunities in mobile infrastructure.

Dennis Crowley, Advisor

Dennis Crowley  

Dennis Crowley is the co-founder of foursquare, a service that combines social networks, location awareness and game mechanics to encourage people explore the world around them. Previously, Dennis founded, one of the first mobile social services in the US, which was acquired by Google in 2005. He has been named one of the “Top 35 Innovators Under 35” by MIT’s Technology Review magazine (2005), one of Fortune’s “40 Under 40” (2010) and has won the “Fast Money” bonus round on the TV game show Family Feud (2009). He is currently an Adjunct Professor at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP).

Drew Houston, Advisor

Drew Houston  

Drew Houston is the cofounder and CEO of Dropbox, the leading way to store and share files online. The company launched at the TechCrunch50 conference in 2008 and is backed by Sequoia Capital and Accel Partners. Drew was named one of the top “Twenty-something Entrepreneurs” by BusinessWeek in April 2008. Before founding Dropbox, he was a lead software engineer at Bit9, a venture-backed network security company, cofounded a profitable online SAT prep company called Accolade, and held engineering roles in various startups since the age of 14.

Elad Gil, Advisor

Elad Gil  

Elad is a serial entrepreneur, operating executive, and investor or advisor to private companies such as AirBnB, Pinterest, Square, Stripe. He is currently working on a new company. Previously, he was the VP of Corporate Strategy at Twitter, as well as ran various product teams (Geo, Search). Elad joined Twitter via the acquisition of MixerLabs, a company he was co-founder and CEO of. MixerLabs ran GeoAPI, one of the early developer-centric platform infrastructure products. Elad also spent many years at Google, where he started the mobile team and was involved in all aspects of getting the team up and running. Involved with 3 acquisitions (including the Android team) and was the original product manager for Google Mobile Maps and other key mobile products. Prior to Google, Elad had product management and market seeding roles at a number of Silicon Valley companies and worked at McKinsey & Co. Elad received his Ph.D. from MIT and has degrees in Mathematics and Biology from UCSD.

Ethan Beard, Advisor

Ethan Beard  

Ethan Beard serves as Director of the Facebook Developer Network, where he oversees worldwide developer relations and marketing for Facebook Platform and Facebook Connect. He previously served as Director of Business Development at Facebook and led the team responsible for creating and managing strategic partnerships. Ethan joined Facebook from Google, where he served as Director of Social Media and Director of New Business Development. Prior to Google, he spent several years as Director of Business Development for MTV Online.

Gil Penchina, Advisor

Gil Penchina  

Gil Penchina is currently CEO of Wikia Inc., a start-up founded by Jimmy Wales, the creator of Wikipedia. He was formerly vice president and general manager, international at eBay. An active angel investor, he has investments or advisory roles with many internet startups including Linkedin, Flock, Wink,, Vamoose, Paypal, Findwhat, Evite, Betzip, Qype, Bounty, Feedster, Koders, Voicestar, Reify, Properazzi, Healthtap, Coveroo, and MashLogic.

Heather Harde, Advisor

Heather Harde  

Heather Harde is the former CEO of TechCrunch and General Manager of AOL’s technology properties (which include Engadget, Joystiq, and TUAW). She joined TechCrunch in 2007, built it into the leading tech news site, with a thriving conference business, and sold it to AOL in September, 2010. She spent the previous ten years working within News Corporation. She held a variety of corporate development, strategy and operating roles both in Los Angeles and New York. Most recently, she was part of the founding team at Fox Interactive Media and their SVP Mergers & Acquisitions. Her team spent over $1.3 billion on eight acquisitions and two equity deals during her tenure. Their acquisitions spanned pre-launch start-ups all the way through public-company and pre-IPO buyouts.

James Hong, Advisor

James Hong  

James Hong was the co-founder of, a website where users submit their picture for others to rate on a scale of 1 to 10. Having raised no angel or venture funding, James and his co-founder famously built the site up to millions per year in earnings while working out of their living room without any employees. After operating the site for 8 years, the site was sold in 2008. James is also an active angel investor and advisor to companies including Blippy, Cardpool, Slide, Mochi Media, Raptr, Simply Hired, Crunchyroll, Social Concepts, and BitTorrent.

Jay Adelson, Advisor

Jay Adelson  

Jay Adelson is a General Partner at Center Electric, a venture capital firm focused on the Internet of Everything. He is former CEO of SimpleGeo and Digg, founder and former CEO of Revision3, founder and former CTO of Equinix, and founder of Opsmatic.


Justin Kan, Advisor

Justin Kan  

Justin Kan is a founder and President of, the web’s leading live video site which lets anyone broadcast and watch live video with chat for free. He currently serves as’s Chief Product Officer, managing the product and technical teams, recruiting talent for the company, and evangelizing’s website and API. Previously to founding, Justin founded Kiko Software, the first AJAX-enabled web calendar. Kiko was a ground breaking product in bringing usable office tools, traditionally restricted to the desktop, to the web. Kiko was sold to Tucows in 2006.

Keith Rabois, Advisor

Keith Rabois  

Keith Rabois is currently the General Manager of Square. Keith was formerly Vice President of Strategy & Business Development for Slide (acquired by Google). Prior to Slide, Keith served as Vice President of Business & Corporate Development at LinkedIn. Earlier in his career, Keith served as Executive Vice President of Business Development and Policy for PayPal. He currently serves on the board of directors of Yelp, Xoom, Vendio, and FanIQ. He was an early investor in YouTube and LinkedIn, and is a limited partner at Sequoia Capital.

Kim Polese, Advisor

Kim Polese  

Kim Polese most recently served as CEO of software company SpikeSource Inc. which pioneered the automation of open source software management, accelerating application deployment for developers globally. SpikeSource was acquired by open source software leader Black Duck in November 2010. Prior to SpikeSource, Kim co-founded Marimba Inc. Kim served as President, CEO and Chairman of Marimba, leading the company to profitability and a successful public offering and acquisition by BMC Corporation in 2004. Earlier, Kim worked at Sun Microsystems where she was the founding product manager for Java and led its launch in 1995.

Michael Birch, Advisor

Michael Birch  

Michael Birch is the Co-founder of Bebo and Birthday Alarm. Birch was raised in North London, England, went to Imperial College, London in Central London (where he met Xochi, his wife), then worked in West London. After finally deciding that he had done London, Michael moved to San Francisco in 2002. Michael and Xochi Birch sold Bebo to AOL in March 2008 for USD 850 million. Their combined 70% stake yielded a profit of $595 million from the deal. Michael is an investor in, Goodreads, BranchOut, PlacePop, Mixpanel, Scoopler, and Eventbrite.

Michael Marquez, Advisor

Michael Marquez  

Michael Marquez is a founding partner of CODE Advisors. Previously he was the Executive Vice President, Strategy and Corporate Development for CBS Interactive. Marquez previously served as Director of Corporate Development at Yahoo, working directly with its executive management team on all acquisitions, investments and major strategic initiatives. In this role, Marquez played a leading role in the acquisition of 15 companies throughout the world, including Oddpost, Verdisoft,, Bix and Jumpcut.

Michael Seibel, Advisor

Michael Seibel  

Michael Seibel applied his Yale bachelor’s degree in political science as the finance director for a US Senate campaign before moving to the Bay Area in his mid-twenties as CEO and co-founder of from 2007 – 2011. In 2012, he became CEO and co-founder of Socialcam, one of Founders Den’s first startups. During 2012, Socialcam participated in in Y Combinator, raised angel financing, and sold to Autodesk Inc. for $60M. In 2014, became Twitch Interactive and, under the leadership of Emmett Shear and Kevin Lin, sold to Amazon for $970M. In late 2015, Michael rejoined Founders Den as Advisor, further strengthening the Den’s relationship with Y Combinator, where he works as full-time partner. The majority of his free time is spent cooking, reading, traveling, going drives, and enjoying his life in San Francisco with his amazing wife, Sarah.

Niniane Wang, Advisor

Niniane Wang  

Niniane serves as CTO of Minted, a social commerce site and design marketplace which crowd-sources graphic designs and art from a global community and sells those as printed paper products Previously Niniane spent over a decade leading engineering teams at Google and Microsoft. She was on the founding team of Desktop Search, for which she won a Google Founder’s Award. She also led Gmail Ads, founded Google Lively, and was previously an engineering manager on Microsoft Flight Simulator. Niniane is an inventor on 30 patents, filed and pending. She holds a MS in computer science from University of Washington, and a BS in computer science from Caltech, which she received at age 18.

Phil Libin, Advisor

Phil Libin  

Phil Libin is the CEO of Evernote, the service that’s helping millions of people worldwide remember everything of value in their daily lives. He is an entrepreneur and executive who has led two Internet companies from the very beginning to proven commercial success, and helped three others through rapid growth. Prior to joining Evernote, Phil founded and served as president of CoreStreet, currently one of the top companies providing smart credential and identity management technologies to governments and large corporations throughout the world.

Philip Kaplan, Advisor

Philip Kaplan  

Philip Kaplan is the co-founder of Blippy. Prior to Blippy, Philip was an entrepreneur-in-residence at Charles River Ventures. Prior to CRV, Philip founded AdBrite, one of the largest Internet ad networks, where he was CEO and remains chairman. Philip founded several other businesses including and PK Interactive, a software company that developed web-based applications for Fortune 500 clients.

Philip Rosedale, Advisor

Philip Rosedale  

In 1995, Philip Rosedale created an innovative Internet video conferencing product (called “FreeVue”), which was later acquired by RealNetworks where (in 1996) he went on to become Vice President and CTO. In 1999, Rosedale left RealNetworks, founded Linden Lab and built a virtual civilization called Second Life, fulfilling his lifelong dream of creating an open-ended, Internet-connected virtual world. In 2006, he and Linden Lab received WIRED’s Rave Award for Innovation in Business. Since leaving Second Life, Rosedale is working on several new experiments in distributed work and computing, including Coffee & Power and

Rick Marini, Advisor

Rick Marini  

Rick is the Founder & CEO of BranchOut (backed by Accel Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, Mike Maples). BranchOut brings career networking to Facebook. Previously, Rick was the Founder & CEO of SuperFan, a social entertainment platform that developed social games and Facebook apps. SuperFan’s clients included CBS, MTV, Universal Music, Warner Music, Sony, etc. Prior to SuperFan, Rick was the Co-Founder and Chief Strategist of Tickle. Rick served on the Board of Directors of Tickle until 2004 when Tickle was successfully acquired by Monster Worldwide for over $100 million.

Rusty Rueff, Advisor

Rusty Rueff  

Rusty was CEO of SNOCAP until its sale to imeem in April 2008. Prior Rusty was an EVP for seven years at Electronic Arts. He is an investor and advisor to early stage entertainment and creator resources companies like RootMusic, Rethink Books, PROJECT X, UrbanTag and Spiral Staircase Productions. He sits on the Boards of and HireVue. He is the co-author of the book “Talent Force: A New Manifesto for the Human Side of Business”. He also is President of the Board of the American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) and Vice- Chair of the GRAMMY Foundation.

Tim Ferriss, Advisor

Tim Ferriss  

Tim Ferriss is author of the #1 New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and BusinessWeek bestseller, “The 4-Hour Workweek,” as well as the #1 New York Times bestseller, “The 4-Hour Body.” He has been a guest lecturer in high-tech entrepreneurship at Princeton University (High-Tech Entrepreneurship) since 2003 and was nominated as one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Business People of 2007.” Tim is an angel investor in companies including Digg, SimpleGeo, Foodzie, Posterous, RescueTime, and Twitter, and an advisor to startups like BranchOut, StumbleUpon, Shopify, DailyBurn, and Evernote.

Yves Béhar, Advisor

Yves Béhar  

Yves Béhar is the founder of fuseproject, a San Francisco based design agency contributing to areas that include technology, furniture, sports, lifestyle and fashion. Yves Béhar has produced some of the new millennium’s most coveted objects, like the Leaf lamp, the Jawbone headset, and the XO laptop for One Laptop per Child. Over the past decade, Yves Béhar and his firm fuseproject have become the design group that companies turn to for a game-changing idea. Take the re-invention of the Bluetooth headset, for one; or the re-envigoration of the venerable but dowdy Birkenstock line; or Béhar’s LED-chic Leaf lamp for Herman Miller. And yes, Béhar and fuseproject are the people who put the green bunny ears on the XO laptop.