Young and Restless! Our Jason Stoffer Named to the 40 Under 40 List at the Puget Sound Business Journal
Many of Seattle’s most promising companies — including zulily (link) and Julep (link) — have shared a great ally during their entrepreneurial journey to build a game-changing consumer business: Maveron’s Jason Stoffer. We have an incredible team at Maveron and Jason’s a key part of it! All of us at Maveron are thrilled to congratulate him on being named to the Puget Sound Business Journal’s 2014 40 Under 40.
Apart from the key requirement for being under 40 (alas I don’t qualify anymore), Jason’s gift in venture capital is a preternatural ability to identify entrepreneurs who are on to the next big consumer brand. He’s sourced or led several of Maveron’s investments in Seattle, in the Bay Area and in New York — including Everlane, General Assembly, Julep, Red Tricycle and CourseHero. But he’s so much more than just an investor, working hard as an adviser, consigliere, and friend to entrepreneurs so that their companies can become iconic brands.
For instance, Jane Park, the CEO of Julep – the fast-growing beauty brand, loves to tell me that Jason is the most consumer empathetic, brand-loving data guy in venture capital. “He cares as much about the emotional consumer engagement we see on Facebook as he does about the cohort data,” says Park. She’s appreciated his deep understanding of consumer buying habits and his extensive network of consumer-focused business connections that have helped to accelerate Julep’s growth. “Not only has Jason been there with me along for the ride from the beginning, Jane says, “but he’s invested time and energy into supporting me and my team personally. Jason makes sure we know he cares along multiple dimensions.”
In Jason, as in the entrepreneurs we back who then go on to thrive, one can see the abilities make for success in our universe: curiosity and tenacity, vigor and rigor. We often work quietly. The headlines don’t focus on what venture capitalists do day in and day out, and startups get attention only when they hit home runs. We understand that and it’s fine. But it is gratifying when someone like Jason gets richly deserved kudos, joining other up-and-coming stars in business, health, the arts, and other industries in the 40-Under-40 pantheon. What a fortunate thing that Jason’s first dream didn’t pan out: Back in kindergarten, he aspired to be the world’s greatest veterinarian!
It makes me proud to know we have someone such as Jason on our team. In addition to appreciating him being a wonderful man, father, husband, friend and VC, we love his “Jasonisms,” like a recent quote in Re/Code related to our investment in Dolls Kills. “If it makes 50 white guys uncomfortable,” he quipped, “it usually means you’re onto something.”
When we’re listening to startup pitches from entrepreneurs, when people start to shift in their seats, that’s when exactly Jason leans in more to listen to what exactly is making others uncomfortable. It’s an instinct and a skill gift that makes him a great partner for both Maveron and for the companies who are lucky to have him from the start of their company and beyond.
Congrats to Jason on being recognized by PSBJ.