Michael Smerklo
Co-Founder and Managing Director of Next Coast Ventures

Michael has been active in the technology industry for 20 years. Prior to Next Coast, Michael was Chairman and CEO of ServiceSource (SREV). Previously, he worked as an early employee at Loudcloud (Opsware) and worked at (but hated) jobs in investment banking and public accounting. Michael was named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award Finalist in Northern California in 2010.

Michael is active in YPO and various community endeavors. Mike received his MBA from the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University and a BS in Business at Miami University.

Learn more about Michael on Linkedin, his blog or on Twitter.

Thomas Ball
Co-Founder and Managing Director of Next Coast Ventures

Tom has been an entrepreneur and early-stage investor for over 20 years. Immediately prior to co-founding Next Coast Ventures, Tom was a General Partner with Austin Ventures where he spent ten years investing in and working with entrepreneurs to build great companies. Prior to that he was the Founder of Tahoe Domains, an ICANN accredited registrar; CEO and Co-Founder of Openfield and Razorgator Interactive; and Chairman, CEO and Founder of eCoupons (acquired by Lifeminders-NASDAQ: LFMN). He also worked for a couple of years as a strategy consultant with Mitchell Madison Group.

Tom is active in his local community serving on the Boards of the local PBS affiliate and home of the Austin City Limits television show, KLRU, and the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Central Texas.

Tom received his MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University and a BS in Finance at the University of Florida. He is also a Kauffman Fellow.

Learn more about Tom on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Dagney Pruner
Director of Marketing Communications

Dagney was an algorithmic salestrader at Credit Suisse in New York City before discovering her love of journalism. She wrote a newsletter on the electronic trading market and its ever-changing regulations during her time at the bank. She left to work at a French magazine while she applied to graduate school.

Originally from New York City, Dagney has been living in Austin for two years where she received her Master's in Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin before joining Next Coast Ventures. As an undergraduate, she attended The University of Virginia as a Jefferson Scholar.

Now considering herself a converted Austinite, Dagney spends most of her weekends on a bike or scouting out the city's newest restaurants.

Learn more about Dagney on Linkedin or Twitter.

Ricky Garcia
Senior Associate

Prior to joining Next Coast Ventures, Ricky spent four years as a product manager at Discover Financial Services in Chicago focusing on marketing, technology, and call center operations. At Discover, Ricky led development teams on mobile app releases, new product launches, and infrastructure overhauls to further Discover’s position as a leading direct bank.

Originally from the area, Ricky returned to Austin where he received his MBA from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. During his time at McCombs, Ricky was a Venture Fellow and interned at CAVU Venture Partners. He attended the University of Notre Dame as an undergrad where he received a BBA in finance.

When he isn’t in Austin, Ricky enjoys spending his free time outdoors at his family’s cattle ranch in South Texas.

Learn more about Ricky on Linkedin.

Zeynep Young
Venture Partner

Zeynep has 20 years of entrepreneurship and consulting experience in the technology sector. Zeynep was the founder and CEO of Double Line Partners (DLP), an ed-tech data company she bootstrapped and grew to $18M in revenues prior to a successful exit to private equity.

Prior to DLP, Zeynep was a portfolio manager with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, where she managed a $150 million portfolio investing in disruptive technologies to improve education and health outcomes. Zeynep was also an Associate Principal at McKinsey & Company, where she served as a leader in the worldwide high tech practice. Zeynep was named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award Finalist in Central Texas in 2013 and was on the Forbes list of Women Who Built Outstanding Companies.

Zeynep is active in YPO and serves on the boards of Texas Book Festival, Austin Speech Labs, and St. Stephens Episcopal School. She has an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and a BA from Rice University.

Learn more about Zeynep on Linkedin.

Jeff Browning
Venture Partner

Jeff has 30 years experience in executive talent acquisition across multiple industry sectors and company sizes ranging from start ups to the Fortune 100. Most recently, he was a Principal at GTCR Private Equity, recruiting CEO candidates for their prestigious Leaders Strategy Program. Prior to GTCR, Jeff spent 15 years as the Recruiting Partner for Austin Ventures. In that role he led all the executive talent acquisition programs supporting both the Venture Capital and Growth Equity practice areas.

Jeff has been very active in the Austin community. He served as the Vice Chairman of Talent Development for the Austin Chamber of Commerce, Board Member for the Entrepreneurs Foundation and long time Chairman of the Austin Cup benefiting the Center for Child Protection. He is a past recipient of the Austin Chamber's Technology Volunteer of the Year Award.

Learn more about Jeff on Linkedin.

Jason Dorsey
Venture Partner

Jason is the president and co-founder of The Center for Generational Kinetics where he leads Millennial and Gen Z research, speaking, and strategy to uncover the hidden, generational drivers that solve tough business challenges. He’s helped reposition global brands to win Millennial customers, advised on billion-dollar acquisitions and taken clients from last to first in employee retention. Last year, the Center worked with 180 clients on four continents in industries ranging from automotive, healthcare, and retail to advertising and technology.

Jason wrote his first bestselling book at age 18 and currently serves on the board of directors at Ultimate Software (NASDAQ: ULTI) and continues to advise numerous CEOs and corporate boards.

Learn more about Jason on Linkedin or on Twitter.

Paul Rogers
Technology Venture Partner

Paul Rogers is the chief technology officer of Namely, Inc. Paul is well-known in Austin tech circles, having opened Google's Austin office in 2008. He led the engineering team at RetailMeNot from 2011 to 2017, and the engineering team at BazaarVoice during its start-up years. Prior to Bazaarvoice, Paul held multiple development and technical management roles at Trilogy Software. Paul worked closely with RetailMeNot, Inc. since its inception, as an adviser, as well as with Austin Ventures, one of the company's venture capital firms. Paul draws upon his extensive technology leadership experience to drive Namely's technical vision and the progress of the overall company.

Learn more about Paul on LinkedIn.

Jim Dunham
Technology Venture Partner

Jim has been in the technology industry for over 25 years. He has created B2B Enterprise class offerings for Analytics, CRM, Loyalty, Case Management, CSM, Account Management and Renewals on custom public and private platforms using both on-premise and subscription business models. As a General Manager at Siebel Systems he started and built vertical solutions for Public Sector, Travel, Transportation and Hospitality. Upon acquisition by Oracle he joined SAP where he worked in Public Sector and later built out the Governance, Risk and Compliance suite. Much of the enterprise software he built at Siebel and SAP can still be found in the market today. Jim was President of the Cloud and Business Intelligence division at ServiceSource and worked at NASA, Sybase, Booz Allen and Hamilton.

Jim is an avid adventurer, he has climbed Kilimanjaro and Rainer, enjoys scuba diving and cycling. He is an advisor to businesses and mentor to individuals in the technology sector, he serves on the Board of Otterbein Senior Lifestyle Choices in Ohio and is a supporter of Alpha Loft, a startup incubator in New Hampshire.

Learn more about Jim on Linkedin.