Venture Evolved
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Venture Evolved

Keeping our Center: Defining Origin’s Values

Since Steve Miller and Bruce Barron founded Origin Ventures in 1999, one piece of feedback we get consistently is that the Origin team brings an authenticity to all of its interactions: whether with investors, entrepreneurs, or other venture capital firms. While Steve and Bruce’s individual selflessness, integrity, generosity, and accountability have come to define Origin’s external persona, we have done our best to maintain this principled personal style as our firm has scaled.

Bruce and Steve

Since Steve Miller and Bruce Barron founded Origin Ventures in 1999, one piece of feedback we get consistently is that the Origin

With every incremental partner, senior associate, platform lead, and intern, maintaining this unspoken doctrine gets more difficult. Expressing the essence of our firm to entrepreneurs becomes more challenging. As Origin approaches its 20th anniversary, it was time to articulate these values and share them with our larger community.

Below are . Together, these guiding principles encapsulate both our mission as a firm and our precepts for external interactions. We also created a set of internal values that govern intra-firm relationships, communications, and attitudes which we believe will sustain our firm for the next 20 years.

Brent, Bruce, Steve, Jason

We’ve seen firsthand how scaling without cultural values in place can sink a startup’s morale, culture, and productivity. As venture capitalists, we prefer to invest in startups that not only articulate their core values publicly, but uphold them. Despite few venture firms expressing values externally, we felt we should hold ourselves to the same standards as we hold our companies, and by sharing these values with you, we hope you will hold us accountable should any of us stray from them.

We now share with you Origin Venture’s values:

We have your back

  • If succeed, we succeed.
  • We don’t “flip” businesses.
  • We do not invest in competitors of our portfolio companies.
  • Maintaining our reputation depends on us always doing the right thing.

Genuine partnership

  • It is a privilege to work alongside entrepreneurs.
  • As , we know what the other side of the table is like.
  • We are responsive to entrepreneurs before and after investment.
  • We only invest in companies to which we believe we can add significant value.

People first

  • We listen more than we talk.
  • We give candid, constructive feedback to companies and each other.
  • Entrepreneurs we back, regardless of our success together, are our best references.
  • We maintain free of discrimination and harassment within Origin Ventures, our portfolio companies, and the broader entrepreneurial ecosystem. We embrace diversity on every dimension.

Together we win

  • We align ourselves with our LPs by investing a meaningful amount of our own capital in every fund.
  • We syndicate because we do not have all the answers and value the additional resources co-investors bring.
  • We value the opinions of all of Origin’s team members, regardless of seniority.
  • Our team works together on every investment and our compensation is never deal-specific.

this story originally appeared in .



Jason is a venture capitalist, business school professor and former software engineer. Jason is a Partner at Origin Ventures and he has been in the venture business since 2001. He also teaches the venture capital and private equity lab class at Chicago Booth.

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Jason Heltzer

Dad, venture capitalist at @OriginVentures, @chicagobooth professor, Chicagoan. I was a nerd before it was cool to be a nerd.