Serial entrepreneur Aaron White, co-founder and former CTO of Boundless, has a new gig, but it’s not a startup. No, the founder of nearly half a dozen companies has taken a job in venture capital. White tells me he started earlier this week on the investment team at Venrock as a VP.
Back in March I broke the news that White would be the second co-founder of Boundless – the digital textbook startup – to leave the firm. (CEO Ariel Diaz remains.) At the time he told me the decision was about stage; as he put it then, “my skill set… is kind of earlier focused.” For that reason the move to VC could make a lot of sense. White brings strong technical chops to the investment team and will be able to advise a number of startups in the Venrock portfolio, focusing on the stage where he feels he can add the most value.
White says he’s always used one simple rule to determine his career: where can he learn the most. At first that meant founding a company, then building an engineering team, but at this point White thinks it’s VC where he can interact with dozens or even hundreds of teams.
White says that Venrock’s Mike Tyrrell, who led the firm’s investment in Boundless, played a big role in his decision. It was Tyrrell who first proposed the idea, which White soon warmed to. Before that White hadn’t considered the VC route, thinking of it as either for MBA’s or for founders who’d just had a mega-exit.
White tells me he’ll remain a regular teacher at the startup school Intelligent.ly.