Founder & Managing Partner

Greg Sands

I wanted to build a firm that was deeply personal and pragmatic in its approach with founders.

My Philosophy

I organize my activity around four basic principles:

People First – I’ve always found the single most productive thing in the venture capital business is to focus on finding the most extraordinary people I can, people I want to spend the next 5-10 years working with. Endeavoring to support them in the best way possible is the very best part of my job. I know that we and founders get to pick each other, but more than anything, I look for intellectual curiosity, tenacity and judgment.

Always Be Learning – My life took a positive turn when I read Mindset by Carol Dweck and converted from a competitive mindset to a growth mindset. As a former athlete, it took some adjustment but I still get to focus on getting better every day.

Know what you don’t know – Fortunately, venture capital in endlessly humbling. The limitations of what we know at any given time are immense. We’ll do the work (ad I’ll humbly say we will likely know more about the opportunity than other firms by the time we’re done), but the future is still uncertain. So I’ll keep asking questions, forming hypotheses and running experiments.

Believe in the power of transformation (in all its forms) – Yes, I look for transformative technologies that can change lives. And I look for opportunities to transform markets. But more than anything, I look for founders who can go into the challenge of leading a company, bring their best and learn new capabilities in order to meet the moment.

When I follow these principles, I truly love my job and feel like I can handle any challenge in being the investor and partner that a founder needs.

Experience

Prior to founding Costanoa, I was a Managing Director at Sutter Hill, where I invested in early stage enterprise software startups, such as Merced Systems, AllBusiness, Youku, Quinstreet, and Feedburner. I was the first product manager at Netscape Communications where I wrote the initial business plan, coined the name Netscape, and built the SuiteSpot Business unit from $0-$140M. I also served as a business development manager at Cisco where I architected a channel management plan.

Education

- B.A. Harvard College, Magna Cum Laude

- MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business

Favorite Book to Recommend

Guns, Germs and Steel

Jared Diamond

Board Position

Alation

Aquabyte

Aserto

Focal Systems

Inflection

Acquired by Checkr

Roadster

Acquired by CDKGlobal

StackHawk

Costanoa Investments

3scale

Acquired by Red Hat

6sense

Acquired by Insight Partners

Alation

AKASA

Amplify.ai

Acquired by TrillerNet

Aquabyte

Aserto

Auterion

BeyondHQ

BillGo

Bolster

Coiled

Cyral

Datalogix

Acquired by Oracle

Demandbase

Directly

Focal Systems

GameChanger

Acquired by Dick's Sporting Goods

Grovo

Acquired by Cornerstone OnDemand

Guardian Analytics

Acquired by NICE

Inflection

Acquired by Checkr

Intacct

Acquired by Sage

iSocket

Acquired by Rubicon Project

Kenna Security

Acquired by Cisco

Landit

Lex Machina

Acquired by LexisNexis

Noteable

PayNearMe

Pepperdata

Quizlet

Rafay Systems

Regrow

Return Path

Acquired by Validity

Roadster

Acquired by CDKGlobal

StackHawk

Stitch Labs

Acquired by Square

VictorOps

Acquired by Splunk

Vic.ai

Perspectives from Greg Sands.