AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Next Coast Ventures, an Austin-based venture capital firm with a focus on entrepreneurs on the ‘Next Coast’ of innovation, announced today that Kaitlyn DeBernardo joined as Partner and Head of Platform. Kaitlyn’s experience in high-growth company building further enhances the Next Coast team’s ability to support entrepreneurs within its portfolio with hands-on operational expertise.
Kaitlyn joins with over a decade of operational experience, including nearly five years as an early employee at Workrise (formerly known as RigUp), a high-growth technology company where she held leadership positions across revenue, finance, operations and strategy. During her time there, the company raised over $700mm from their Series B to E funding rounds, from notable investors like Founders Fund, Andreesen Horowitz, Bedrock Capital and Baillie Gifford.
She started her career at Bank of America Merrill Lynch on the equity desk in New York advising institutional investors. After earning her MBA from Stanford and prior to her tenure with Workrise, she joined Chevron's leadership development program where she specialized in strategy and finance.
“It’s one thing to have a library of resources and templates for entrepreneurs in your portfolio, but it's another to have a full-time dedicated resource, particularly one as accomplished as Kaitlyn,” states Co-Founder and Managing Director Mike Smerklo. “Bringing a Head of Platform became a priority for our firm as we saw this as a game-changing way to continue to take hypotheticals to practicals while coaching and working with our founders. Alongside our Expert Network of over 150+ operators, Kaitlyn joining us as the Head of Platform greatly improves our ability to attract and serve world-changing, glass-eating entrepreneurs in ‘Next Coast’ markets.”
“I’m honored to be joining the team at Next Coast and can’t wait to get started serving our portfolio,” states DeBernardo. “The team at this firm has cumulative decades of operational experience, and I’m looking forward to codifying those experiences and using them to resource and support our portfolio founders.”
“Bringing Kaitlyn onto our team was a no-brainer. Kaitlyn saw and contributed to the growth of a rapidly-scaling company from its early days. She can relate to our founders on both a personal and professional level,” states Co-Founder and Managing Director Thomas Ball. “She knows the challenges they face and will face every day because she faced them herself while building Workrise. She brings the practical skill set of company-building to our portfolio of founders and echoes our desire and passion to keep the entrepreneur first.”
Kaitlyn graduated from Columbia University with a BA in Economics, and later went on to receive her MBA at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
About Next Coast Ventures
Next Coast Ventures is an Austin venture capital firm that partners with bold entrepreneurs building innovative companies in big markets. It provides early-stage capital to high-growth startups in ‘Next Coast’ markets, using macro trends and themes to guide its investment strategy.
Next Coast provides its growing group of portfolio companies with hands-on help, Company Building Playbooks, a robust Expert Network, and the founders’ on experiences as entrepreneurs and operators. Learn more at https://www.nextcoastventures.com/.