Eric Koester, Capstone Director
Eric Koester is a serial entrepreneur.
He has spent much of his career building companies, working with entrepreneurs and writing and teaching around topics of customer discovery, lean, entrepreneurship and innovation.
Eric is currently the Managing Director of NextGen Venture Partners, the worlds first network driven venture capital fund investing in early stage technology companies in regions including New York, Boston, Chicago, Austin, DC, Atlanta and more. Additionally, Eric is a partner at FastRope Labs, an early stage innovation and startup studio. Previously Eric was the founder of Main Street Genome, a technology startup developing tools for the small business economy acquired in 2015 and was a co-founder of Zaarly, a marketplace to locate local small businesses and service providers, named by Fast Company as one of the Fifty Most Innovative Companies in the World. He was also an executive at Appature Inc., a cloud-based relationship marketing software company acquired by IMS in 2013; a founder of Learn that Name, acquired by Blackberry in 2010; and a founder/manager of other companies in the environmental consultancy and web development sectors.
Eric was recently named one of Washington DC’s “40 under 40” and has written several books on startups and technology, including The Green Entrepreneur Handbook (CRC Press 2011) and Starting a High Tech Business Venture (Taylor & Francis 2010). Eric also devotes considerable time to building the startup community. Eric is married to Allison, a professor of Accounting at Georgetown, and they have a daughter Quinn.
Eric began his entrepreneurial career at Ventana Medical Systems, a leading diagnostics company and as a corporate securities attorney at Cooley LLP, focusing on high-growth startups, venture funds, private equity and technology companies.