Gavin is an entrepreneurial VC with a passion for investing and building Utah and the West. In 2008, Gavin recognized a need for both leadership and capital at the seed stage in Utah. Gavin worked with the Utah ecosystem to found Kickstart Seed Fund to fill this gap. Starting a seed stage firm focused on Utah during the Great Recession was not easy, but Kickstart is now the most active investor in Utah at the seed stage with 85+ investments.
Now into his second decade as a seed stage investor, Gavin was fortunate get his 10,000 hours in venture capital early in his career. Prior to Kickstart, Gavin was an analyst, associate and principal at vSpring Capital (now Signal Peak) where he developed a love for venture capital investing in the Mountain West Region. Before vSpring Capital, Gavin also worked as a Vertical Strategy Associate for Google and as a consultant in Monitor Group's Cambridge office where he advised clients on a range of strategic, operational, and organizational improvements.
Gavin received a Masters of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management and a B.A. in Economics (with Honors) from Brigham Young University. Gavin currently serves on the boards of Banyan, Boombox, Chargeback.com, Chatbooks, Grow, Jackrabbit Systems, Lucid Sofware, Photopharmics, Rackware, TaskEasy, Zenprint.
Dalton Wright is a partner at Kickstart Seed Fund. His roots go back to the early days, when he was the fund's first hire and joined Gavin Christensen to launch Kickstart in 2008. As an entrepreneur and investor, Dalton is an optimistic futurist who is passionate about helping startup founders pursue their visions for a brighter world.
A native of Utah, Dalton grew up in the state's vibrant startup ecosystem and has helped create community initiatives to support entrepreneurs such as Campus Founders Fund and Kickstart Collective. Dalton is a Director and Observer on several boards of directors, including Artemis Health, Big Squid and DirectScale, and is particularly interested in data analytics, artificial intelligence, SaaS and consumer applications.
Prior to becoming a partner at Kickstart, Dalton was a startup founder, and he later pursued an entrepreneurial opportunity in Mexico as a founding team member of the country's first early-stage tech fund, Alta Ventures, which raised $70M to back tech founders in Latin America. To date, Dalton has helped launch multiple funds that have raised over $200M in total to fuel innovation in emerging tech hubs.
Dalton enjoys representing Kickstart and Utah as a member of the Kauffman Fellows Society, a global network of venture capitalists that views entrepreneurship as a key to human progress and prosperity. He holds an MBA from the Wharton School, an MA in International Studies from the Lauder Institute, and a BA in Finance from the University of Utah, where he graduated summa cum laude.
Curt is a partner on the investment team at Kickstart, having joined the fund full-time in 2015 after four years on Kickstart’s investment committee. Prior to joining Kickstart, Curt was an active angel investor and board member/advisor for a number of Utah start-ups, including GroSocial, Calle, and Artemis.
Curt is a seasoned operating executive with CEO and general management experience in mid to large enterprise companies across multiple industries. His primary leadership experience is in senior roles in consumer products, IoT, and healthcare. As a result, Curt leads most Kickstart investments in those spaces as well as other SaaS and hardware investments in the portfolio.
In addition to his role as an investment partner, Curt leads Kickstart’s proprietary community platform, Kickstart Collective. Through this platform, Kickstart provides significant additional value-add to our portfolio companies through access to compelling content, trusted peer networks, and decision support tools.
At Kickstart, Curt serves on the boards of Havenly, BrainStorm, eVisit, SalesRabbit, Vence, Simple Citizen, and Room Choice. He is a board observer for Homie, TriLumina, Rags, PenBlade, Omadi, and Pop Art Snacks.
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After earning his MBA with honors from Harvard Business School, Curt joined McKinsey & Company in their Los Angeles office, working primarily with healthcare and financial services clients over his five years there.
After McKinsey, Curt served as Chairman and CEO of the Oregon Region of PeaceHealth, a major integrated health delivery system in the Pacific Northwest. During his tenure Curt completed two significant acquisitions and also pioneered the adoption and implementation of lean manufacturing in healthcare as the first healthcare provider in the world to do so.
After PeaceHealth, Curt joined Nike, Inc., where he served as Vice President of Global Strategy, overseeing corporate strategy and development activities for the company. After 4 years in this role, Curt transitioned into the position of Vice President and General Manager of Vision, Timing and Techlab. Curt’s team invented and productized Nike Plus, developing a relationship with the iPod team at Apple. This ultimately developed into one of the most successful growth initiatives in Nike’s history, moving significant market share in running and successfully bridging the worlds of digital, entertainment, and sports.
Continuing in a long tradition of completely discontinuous career experiences, Curt then did a stint in higher education, leading technology commercialization and economic development programs for two universities in Utah.
When not working with the best tech and consumer companies in the West, Curt can be found with family, in the saddle of a road bike, or skiing the amazing slopes of Utah.
As Administrative Partner of Kickstart Seed Fund, Alex is responsible for managing the financial reporting, tax compliance, and general back office processes for the fund. He is also actively involved in Kickstart’s investment and diligence process. He loves working with entrepreneurs and currently sits on the Boards of Bookly, Estify, Idaciti, and Reaction Data. Prior to Kickstart, Alex worked as Director of Finance at Signal Peak Ventures. He started his career with EY in the Assurance and Advisory Business Services. During his time there, he worked with a variety of public companies, start-up companies, and venture capital and private equity funds. He is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the state of Utah. He received a Masters of Professional Accountancy and a B.S. in Accounting, with honors, from the University of Utah.
Jason is a Senior Associate at Kickstart Seed Fund and spends his time identifying and evaluating investment opportunities, supporting portfolio companies, and managing the firm’s internal data and analytics. He is passionate about and actively contributes to Utah’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem, and he can often be found participating on local venture capital panels or guest lecturing at nearby universities.
Prior to joining Kickstart in early 2016, Jason worked at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) as an Associate and then as a Consultant. During his three years at BCG, Jason worked with senior executives to define and implement growth strategies, develop leadership platforms, and transform organizations. His clients spanned a variety of industries including retail, health care, biotechnology, and the public sector.
Jason also previously worked at PwC in their US Advisory practice, where he consulted on regulatory compliance in the financial services industry.
Jason graduated with a B.A. in Economics, summa cum laude, from Brigham Young University.
Brandon is an Associate at Kickstart Seed Fund and spends his time conducting due diligence, sourcing deals, and assisting portfolio companies with recruiting. He joined Kickstart in October 2017.
Brandon previously worked as an analyst at Hines, a large international commercial real estate investment firm. During his time at Hines, Brandon was responsible for deal sourcing, due diligence, and asset management of a $275MM portfolio. Prior to Hines, Brandon worked as a consultant at RCLCO, where he assisted a variety of public and private clients make informed decisions by conducting financial and market feasibility analyses and conceptualizing development strategies.
Brandon received a B.S. in Business Management with an emphasis in Strategy from Brigham Young University and served as Student Body President during his senior year.
Minna Wang is an analyst at Kickstart and is passionate about building a community amongst Kickstart's portfolio companies. She splits her time between Collective, Kickstart's community platform, and supporting the rest of the team in deal screening and due diligence.
Prior to Kickstart, Minna was the managing partner of Campus Founders Fund, a student-run venture fund powered by Kickstart that invests exclusively in Utah student entrepreneurs. During her two years with CFF, she helped shape the mission and structure of the fund, growing the portfolio to eight companies including SimpleCitizen, Whistic, and AncestorCloud. In addition to Kickstart, she also writes for Beehive Startups and is a co-organizer of 1 Million Cups Salt Lake City.
Minna graduated from the University of Utah in 2016 with a B.S. in biomedical engineering with a computational emphasis.
As office manager for Kickstart, Brianna keeps the background running smoothly. She spends her time coordinating with new companies, organizing events, and keeping the swag stocked.
Prior to Kickstart, Brianna spent a short time at Instructure and a few years at Red Leaf Resources, a startup oil shale R&D company, working as an office manager and implementing community outreach programs.
Brianna became passionate about helping startups when she led the Entrepreneurship programs at Utah State. She graduated with a degree in Public Relations from USU in 2012.