Brian Rothenberg
 Brian Rothenberg
repeat founder >> scaler through IPO

“I founded two startups using student loans, heard no from investors 40 times before the first yes, and almost shut down before selling and then scaling through IPO.”

I’m an investment partner at defy. As a former founder, operator, and scaler from startup creation through IPO, I understand and deeply appreciate all of the ups and downs along the entrepreneurial journey. I thrive at the intersection of strategy, product, growth and analytics, with an emphasis on how we lead and empower our people to drive the best outcomes. I love working in support of the incredible entrepreneurs who make this happen, defying all reasonable expectations to create a new reality from unique insight and vision.

Before joining defy, I spent more than 6 years scaling Eventbrite from a startup into the world’s largest event technology platform and marketplace for live experiences. As Eventbrite’s first VP of Growth, CMO and VP/GM of the company’s largest revenue segment, I helped to scale the business from a small startup to millions of users, $300M in revenue, and through our IPO (NYSE: EB) with a nearly $3B market cap. To stay close to the early-stage as Eventbrite outgrew its startup roots, I spent years advising and investing in dozens of startups independently and through First Round Capital’s Angel Track & Expert Network, Sequoia Capital’s Scout program, and YC’s Growth Council.

Prior to Eventbrite I co-founded SkillSlate, a VC-backed local services marketplace, building the business through our acquisition by TaskRabbit (later acquired by IKEA). I joined Yahoo! in its first ten years, helping to build several of Yahoo!’s early businesses as the company’s youngest Product Manager.

I started my first business from my USC dorm room—an early online ticket brokerage company called EventTicketsNow. At USC, I studied entrepreneurship and marketing and played for USC’s lacrosse team as two-time team captain and president, defensive MVP, and two-time recipient of the team’s “Trojan of the Year” award for leadership and positive impact on the overall program. I was also honored to play for Team USA West, representing our country in the 2004 International Games. Afterwards, I earned my MBA in finance and general management from NYU’s Stern School of Business.

As a fourth-generation San Franciscan, I love building our life here with my wife Kelly, our children Chase, Charlie, Brooks and Taylor and our dog Rosie. On nights and weekends, you’ll find me coaching our kids’ sports, enjoying good food and red wine, snowboarding, playing guitar, or grinding through CrossFit workouts.

One truism I’ve found holds over time: it’s all about the people. I’m truly honored to be part of this special defy team, and to be a coach, confidant, and partner to a phenomenal group of entrepreneurs.

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