Trae Vassallo

Co-Founder & Managing Director, Defy Partners

I am a co-founder and managing director of Defy. As an engineer, an entrepreneur, and an investor, my passion is collaborating with the world’s best entrepreneurs. I was previously a general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Over my 17-year investing career, I invested in a number of leading companies including eero (acquired by AMZN), Nest Labs (GOOG), Dropcam (GOOG), Aggregate Knowledge (NSR), and Opower (GOOG). A “design thinker” and engineer at heart, I thrive at the intersection of great products and big markets.

Before joining KPCB, I was a co-founder of Good Technology, a KPCB portfolio company that provides end-to-end wireless email services to the enterprise. I began my career at IDEO, where I developed ground-breaking products for companies including Palm and Dell. I hold 13 patents across a broad array of technologies and disciplines.

 I co-founded and co-manage Equity Summit, an annual event to connect the world’s best LPs with underrepresented GPs. I also co-authored the study “Elephant in the Valley” to help highlight the underlying data around the experiences of women in technology.

I earned a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in mechanical engineering with honors from Stanford University and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. I participated on the Trust of the Stanford Business School and as an advisor to the Mechanical Engineering Department at Stanford. In addition to working with inspiring entrepreneurs, I am committed to empowering women in technology and enjoy adventuring with my husband, Steve, and three children.


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