Ethan Kurzweil, a partner in the Menlo Park, Calif. office, was eleven when he started his first business — The Cat Corporation. In charge of family cat care, he “awarded” all labor-intensive jobs to his sister (Cat Feeder, Cat Brusher) and claimed all management jobs for himself (CEO, VP of Cat Welfare, Executive Director of Grooming). He would now discourage founders from letting sibling rivalry influence their org charts.
As a Stanford undergrad, Ethan eventually was a co-founder of a real company: SSB-Bart Group, which helps make the Web accessible to users with disabilities. Before joining Bessemer in 2008, he worked for Dow Jones & Co., managing the turnaround of The Wall Street Journal’s international editions, and Linden Lab, the creator of Second Life.
At BVP, Ethan focuses on investments in consumer technologies and developer platforms. He is particularly excited about consumer video start-ups and companies “developerizing the enterprise,” his phrase for companies that provide non-technical business users with powerful tools and potential impact without requiring them to code. Ethan’s investments include consumer companies Twitch (acquired by Amazon), Periscope (acquired by Twitter), Dropcam (acquired by Google), Playdom (acquired by Disney), Zirx, Life360 and Piazza; developer platforms Intercom, Twilio, PagerDuty, npm, and Sendgrid; and SaaS companies Hightower and Simply Measured. He was also involved in the firm’s investments in adap.tv (acquired by AOL) and Skybox Imaging (acquired by Google).
Ethan graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University and earned an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School. He serves on the Bay Area advisory board for New Leaders. Raised in Boston, he remains a Red Sox fan for life. Follow Ethan @ethankurz.