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Bill Coughran

  • Seed/Early

Engineering is easy. People are hard.


My original plan was to be an academic. After I got my PhD in computer science, I went to Bell Labs. At the time, Bell Labs was quite academic. Some of the work I was involved with—core modeling and computer systems work—shaped my thinking about how to build large-scale systems and designs for many years, and it’s something that served me well at Google. Because there I had the opportunity to work with some of the most sophisticated systems at that time.

After my time at Bell Labs, I co-founded Entrisphere in late 2000. That company was acquired by Ericsson after I left. I joined Google in 2003. The toughest challenge at Google was managing such a wide variety of special technologists, and then a broad scope of research and development groups. What I bring, maybe, is intellectual breadth and pragmatic organizational psychology, coupled with a lot of operational experience. I’ve certainly overseen a wide range of technologies, from semiconductors up to large distributed systems, search, security, and other web and mobile services.

On the lookout for

The companies that interest me the most are companies creating solutions to technical problems that can change markets. I’ve always been drawn to creative problems and people with a technical point of view—networking, security, machine learning, and AI, to name a few.

But over the years, I found I truly enjoy day-to-day leadership and mentoring most of all. I’d describe myself as a technologist with general-management experience.

Get in touch with Bill

Personal Side

  • My grandchildren
  • Economics
  • History
  • San Francisco Opera

Press & Media


Current Companies

Company Name  Short Description Current Stage  Founders First Partnered  collapse
AlkiraAlkira lets customers build and deploy global secure cloud networks in minutes.Growth
  • Atif Khan
  • Amir Khan
Early (2018)Collapse
ChkkChkk keeps complex Kubernetes environments up and running.Pre-Seed/Seed
  • Fawad Khaliq
  • Ali Khayam
  • Awais Nemat
Pre-Seed/Seed (2022)Collapse
CohesityCohesity is a software-defined enterprise data management platform in the cloud that eliminates data silos.Growth
  • Mohit Aron
Early (2013)Collapse
CtrlStackCtrlStack simplifies real-time troubleshooting and change intelligence for DevOps.Early
  • Dev Nag
Pre-Seed/Seed (2020)Collapse
GraphcoreGraphcore designs processors for machine learning.Growth
  • Simon Knowles
  • Nigel Toon
Growth (2017)Collapse
GraphiantGraphiant is creating a new model for connectivity in a rapidly changing world.Early
  • Stefan Olofsson
  • Khalid Raza
Early (2020)Collapse
Iambic TherapeuticsIambic Therapeutics tackles challenging design problems in drug discovery with its physics-based AI platform.Early
  • Tim Cernak
  • Fred Manby
  • Thomas Miller
  • Sarah Trice
Early (2021)Collapse
JITXJITX lets electrical engineers write code to design circuit boards.Early
  • Jonathan Bachrach
  • Duncan Haldane
  • Patrick Li
Pre-Seed/Seed (2019)Collapse
Lilt Lilt is the leading AI solution for enterprise translations.Growth
  • John DeNero
  • Spence Green
Early (2018)Collapse
OsoOso is an open-source library for developers to make it easier to build authorization in their applications.Early
  • Graham Neray
  • Sam Scott
Pre-Seed/Seed (2019)Collapse
PreludePrelude is a technology company that hardens cybersecurity defenses.Early
  • Spencer Thompson
Early (2021)Collapse
Quantum CircuitsQuantum Circuts builds quantum computers designed to scale.Early
  • Michel Devoret
  • Luigi Frunzio
  • Brian Pusch
  • Robert Schoelkopf
Early (2017)Collapse
Robust IntelligenceRobust Intelligence is a security company that integrates seamlessly into the AI-development life cycle.Growth
  • Kojin Oshiba
  • Yaron Singer
Pre-Seed/Seed (2019)Collapse
SeaplaneSeaplane is the global platform for building and scaling applications.Early
  • Niall Dalton
  • Denzil Dunn
  • Suneil Mishra
  • Cath Schikkerling
Pre-Seed/Seed (2020)Collapse
StairwellStairwell is a cybersecurity company building enhanced security diagnostics.Early
  • Mike Wiacek
Pre-Seed/Seed (2019)Collapse
StripeStripe is building an economic infrastructure for the internet.Growth
  • John Collison
  • Patrick Collison
Pre-Seed/Seed (2010)Collapse
TectonTecton provides data management for ML.Growth
  • Michael Del Balso
  • Jeremy Hermann
  • Kevin Stumpf
Pre-Seed/Seed (2018)Collapse

Enduring Companies

Company Name  Short Description Current Stage  Founders First Partnered  collapse
FireEyeFireEye builds world-class cybersecurity and malware protection services.IPO
  • Ashar Aziz
Early (2004)Collapse
NeevaNeeva is search reimagined—ad-free, private and deeply personal.Acquired
  • Vivek Raghunathan
  • Sridhar Ramaswamy
Early (2019)Collapse
nxyznxyz builds real-time, flexible blockchain data APIs.Acquired
  • Sridhar Ramaswamy
Early (2022)Collapse