John Cowgill


John evaluates and leads investments in applied machine learning, marketplaces, security, and deep tech.

Why Venture Capital?

I entered VC from a background in startup business development and large enterprise management consulting. I saw in both experiences my passion for exploring new solutions to big problems and helping shape these ideas into concrete reality, but came to realize early stage is where the real action is. I found VC to be the perfect environment to do this. I’m incredibly grateful to be able to work with and learn from brilliant entrepreneurs every day.


I’ve spent the past three years at Costanoa investing in all flavors of enterprise technology–from software for car dealerships to satellites in space. I’m people first in investment approach, but love diving deep into obscure market dynamics and appreciate founders who know their market cold. Before I came to Costanoa, I was a business analyst at McKinsey & Co., advising consumer and technology companies on strategy and operations projects. Before McKinsey, I worked in business development for Techweek, a nationwide technology conference company. This has had the unfortunate event of giving me tech conference PTSD, an occupational hazard in this job. 


B.S. in Learning and Organizational Change with a concentration in Marketing and Economics from Northwestern University

Outside of Work

I pick up hobbies on an all-too-frequent basis– recent obsessions include rock climbing, science fiction, cycling, weight lifting, and meditation. The lone constant– since the age of 12, I’ve been an avid guitarist.