We know how hard it is to be an entrepreneur. How?
We’ve done it ourselves.

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

Mike has been active in the technology industry for 20 years. Prior to Next Coast, Mike 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. Mike was named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award Finalist in Northern California in 2010.

Mike 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 Mike 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.

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.

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.

Camille Reid
Office Manager

Camille has lived in Austin since she was four years old and considers herself a true Austinite, foodie, and nature lover. She first met Mike and Tom while working at a coffee shop they frequented and is just beginning to discover the world of entrepreneurship and startups.

She spent years in South Lake Tahoe living the ski resort life, working with young skiers in the winter and as a photographer in the summer (while hiking every mountain in the area, weather permitting).

Now, her time is spent gardening, hiking with her dog, cooking wholesome meals, and staying fit with yoga and weightlifting. When she's not managing the Next Coast Ventures office, you'd most likely find her on the lake with a fishing rod in hand reeling in whatever bites.