We are proud to announce that we are adding Sarah Puil as our Entrepreneur-in-Residence as part of our mission to partner with the most innovative entrepreneurs creating companies in our key investment themes.
Sarah comes to Next Coast Ventures with a dynamic 20-year experience as an entrepreneur, public company executive and innovator in the fast-evolving fields of digital media, online education, workforce training and development, social media and strategic marketing. During Sarah’s residency, she will focus on incubating ideas and solutions centered around the changing nature of digital assets and their consumption – a core investment theme for NCV – and how these shifts in the marketplace can be leveraged to generate massive value for personal and professional development.
Our co-founder Michael Smerklo collaborated with Sarah on a podcast and knew she would be a great fit for NCV’s EIR: “It has always been important to our firm’s culture to have a strong entrepreneur in our office to bring their unique perspective on emerging market trends and discover their next project. Sarah shares our beliefs around the increasing influence of ubiquitous connectivity and digital-first consumers and her significant operational expertise in our core investment themes will be an incredible addition to our firm’s investment approach.”
Sarah has worked at Silicon Valley start-ups, media agencies, and publicly-traded education companies. Across all of these companies, Sarah has uniquely focused on creating innovative new growth platforms built to improve organizational culture and human capital systems. Most recently, she was a Senior Vice President at Civic Entertainment, a Seacrest Global Company, working with Airbnb, Quibi, Elmhurst1925, Argo AI and SYFY Wire among other brands to develop growth strategies through experiential marketing.
Prior to Civic, Sarah served as senior vice president of product development at Strayer Education where she conceived and built Strayer’s first product innovation lab, designing workforce development products to drive frontline employee retention and new customer lead generation. Sarah also developed and launched ‘Education Nation,’ a five-year platform with NBC News that became one of the most impactful educational media events in the country. In the last two years, Sarah has applied her entrepreneurial skills to podcasting, where she has worked with Suze Orman as a co-host and business partner on her show ‘Women & Money,’ as well as on the show ‘Self Made’ with Jessica Herrin. Sarah holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from The University of San Francisco, and after 22 years in San Francisco, she is looking forward to calling Austin home with her husband Kevin and daughter Charlie.
We’re thrilled to have Sarah as part of the team and know she is eager to start her work exploring the untapped potential of premium audio and digital content: “I couldn’t be more excited to join the team at Next Coast and have the chance to work with the firm and its portfolio on these incredibly impactful emerging trends in digital assets and consumption. I have seen firsthand the benefits of iterating on a project in an entrepreneurial environment and was very drawn to the innovative atmosphere Next Coast has fostered both in their firm’s culture and its investment approach – I think it will be the perfect place to explore what these digital shifts in the marketplace mean for the future of technology in education, marketing and the workplace.”
Welcome to NCV, Sarah!