Next Coast Ventures Welcomes Zeynep Young as a Venture Partner

When we set out to build Next Coast Ventures, one theme omnipresent throughout every discussion persisted—we wanted to create a firm “built by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs.”

Because we all have actually been entrepreneurs ourselves, we know full well the breathtaking peaks and despondent valleys the journey can entail. It is this experience that has inspired us to think a bit outside the box in all aspects of our firm. Everything we do at Next Coast is to serve the entrepreneurs in our portfolio.

Now, as we start to build out our team, we utilized this very lens to recruit talent to our organization. Today, we are thrilled to announce that Zeynep Young, an accomplished Austin entrepreneur, is joining Next Coast as our very first venture partner. Zeynep brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and a diversity of thought to our firm. As an entrepreneur who founded a business, grew it successfully and sold it (realized exit!), she will be a great resource to the entrepreneurs in our portfolio throughout the various stages of their own journeys.

Several fun facts about Zeynep:

  • She immigrated from Turkey at the age of 11.
  • Upon arrival in Houston, she spoke NO English and learned the language by watching TV sitcoms.
  • She went to college at Rice University and received her MBA from Northwestern. 
  • Worked at McKinsey for eight years (just long enough to have great analytical horsepower, but not long enough to believe she knows everything).
  • She was founder of the Austin-based software company Double Line, focused on the ed-tech space, which corresponds with a Next Coast Ventures theme around the changing face of education. She grew this business from nothing to just under $20 million in revenue, before exiting to private equity.
  • She also founded Data Narrative, a consulting company focused on helping the social sector quantify outcomes.
  • Recently, she joined Milk + Honey as CEO, with the goal of learning more about consumer marketing. This ties strongly to another Next Coast Venture’s theme - The old way of retail is dead - what’s next?.
  • She was named an E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist (2013) and was on the Forbes List of Women Who Built Outstanding Businesses.
  • She lives in Austin with her husband and two children.
  • She is active in the community and sits on the boards of the Texas Book Festival, Austin Speech Labs and St. Stephen's.

Suffice to say, we are thrilled to have her on our team! Her hire marks the first of many steps Next Coast will take to ensure our entrepreneur’s success. We expect Zeynep to help Next Coast in many ways including:

  • Bringing additional expertise (notably around sales, marketing and go-to-market strategies).
  • Helping recruit talent.
  • Being a sounding board for key topics, including overall corporate strategy.

And, last but not least, she is a heck of a lot of fun to be around. Please join us in welcoming Zeynep to the Next Coast team!
 

Mike Smerklo