Prashant Shukla and Devon Leichtman take us into Origin Ventures - their VC firm based in Chicago. They provide resources to all their investments and believe it's important to support the founders and their companies from origin to exit. Hear why they're excited about investing in the Canadian tech scene, the type of companies they're looking for, and how best to impress.
Director of Platform of Origin Ventures
Devon Leichtman is Director of Platform, having joined Origin Ventures in July 2017 as Marketing and Community Manager. In addition to handling Origin’s marketing campaigns and web presence, Devon works directly with Origin’s community of portfolio companies. He helps Origin’s investments grow by providing the resources, connections, and community they need to succeed. He also hosts virtual roundtables and in-person summits, and manages the Origin Ventures Network (OVeN). He is on the board of Chicago Blend and co-chair of VC Platform Global Community.
Prior to joining Origin, Devon spent two years in marketing at the healthcare incubator MATTER, where he kept his finger on the pulse of 200 startups. In addition, Devon actively managed all marketing efforts. He dramatically grew the company’s email distribution list and presence on social media; planned and implemented a multimedia content strategy; and architected MATTER’s summer internship program.
Before MATTER, Devon worked as a project manager at online marketing firm OneIMS. Before that, he began his career in a sales role at west coast startup Graphiq (formerly FindTheBest), which has since been acquired by Amazon. While studying psychology, entrepreneurship, and writing at Washington University in St. Louis, Devon also owned and operated Wash-U-Wash, a laundry and dry cleaning service on campus.
Vice President of Origin Ventures
Prashant is a Vice President at Origin Ventures, joining the firm as Senior Associate in May 2017. He serves as a Board Observer for Origin portfolio companies 15Five, Pronto, Measured Insurance, Mighty, and Trala.
Prashant started his career at Bain & Company. During his time at Bain, he advised telecom, healthcare, & education clients, but spent most of his time on a large technology client dealing with strategic questions around emerging technologies.
After Bain, he joined San Francisco-based startup Metromile in 2012 as the first product manager, building a pay-per-mile auto insurance product. Prashant helped scale the company to over three hundred employees as it took in over $200m in venture capital financing.
Prashant holds an MBA and MPP from the University of Chicago, and undergraduate degrees in Economics, Business, and Environmental Economics & Policy from the University of California at Berkeley.