General Partner

Steve Vassallo

Steve launched his first startup when he was 13 years old. His snow blowing service taught him what it meant to be entrepreneur — and to grasp every opportunity he found, even if his hands got cold and numb in the process. That kid grew up to be an entrepreneur who works at the intersection of business, technology, and design. Steve’s innovations have won him over 77 patents and several design awards, including the Business Week Design of the Decade Award, red dot design award 2009, IDEA99 Gold and Bronze Awards, NeoCon Gold and Most Innovative New Product Awards.

There is no try, only do. – Yoda

Steve came to Foundation Capital in 2007 from Ning, a social platform he helped launch in 2004 and where he was Vice President of product and engineering. Before Ning, Steve was Director of Engineering at Immersion [IMMR], which pioneered tactile feedback and human touch technology. Previously, Steve was a project leader and design engineer at IDEO, where he developed more than a dozen successful products for companies including Cisco, Nike, BMW, Steelcase, McDonalds, and Caterpillar.

Today, Steve serves on the board of directors of Sunrun [RUN], Bolt Threads, Cerebras Systems, ForUsAll, Mode Analytics, AutoGrid, and Sentient Energy. Past investments include Control4 [CTRL], Pocket (acquired by Mozilla) and PrivateCore (acquired by Facebook).

Steve is the convener and host of Product Minds, a Foundation Capital series of conversations with industry leaders about the art, science, and drive that go into building great products.

What he does

Builds the next big idea – sometimes in the middle of the night


Steve holds a B.S Worcester Polytechnic Institute, an M.S. from Stanford University, and an MBA from the Stanford GSB.


Steve’s always happy to build LEGO robots with his three children and bicycle with his wife and best friend, Trae.


Want to chat? Contact Steve's assistant, Ali Youngblood: [email protected]

Steve's favorites
Blog / 04.27.17

Introducing The Way to Design

It's been a long road getting from there to here, but without further ado, allow me to humbly present … The Way to Design.

research / 04.27.17

The Way to Design

It's a journey, a creative expedition -- and this book to help you find your way.

Powers of Ten

Powers of Ten takes us on an adventure in magnitudes.