Why I Joined Origin Ventures

In June, I made the difficult decision to leave one of the Midwest’s finest venture capital firms, OCA Ventures. I began my career in venture capital at OCA in 2001, when I started as an intern. I will be forever grateful to the mentors, partners, support staff, founders, management teams and friends that made working at OCA and working with its portfolio companies such a rewarding and formative experience over the last 13 years. I will continue to serve on the board of Base CRM and have responsibilities for OCA’s investment in Alert Logic. I will still be rooting hard for OCA and its portfolio companies as an investor in the funds.


I am excited to announce that I joined Origin Ventures at the beginning of September. Origin is a venture capital firm in Chicago that invests primarily in series A rounds of technology companies and highly-salable services businesses. Our specialties include e-commerce, SaaS, digital media and advertising technology. Origin is perhaps best known for being the first investor in Grubhub, IfByPhone, Whittl and many other great businesses. I’ve had the opportunity to work with Origin and its partners over the last 10 years in various capacities- as a co-investor, board member and in the thicket negotiating deals. We’ve had the chance to see one another react to significant challenges, navigate through negotiations, perform cap table calisthenics, seize opportunities and work alongside entrepreneurs. Working in a small partnership is different than other jobs I’ve had. You are electing to intertwine your financial, professional, personal and every other aspect of your life together. Consequently, there is a lot of comfort working with people who you know and when you’ve already been tested together.

In choosing my next job, the most important factor, by at least an entire magnitude, was the people. Origin has an open, collegial, and respectful culture. Over the years, I have admired Origin’s stellar reputation among entrepreneurs as great partners, willing to dive into the trenches when the bullets are flying to not just figure out a plan of attack, but to also execute that plan. In addition to being savvy in choosing great investments and great founders, I believe that Origin’s approach to venture investing is how it’s produced such phenomenal results. I am very humbled to be joining Origin’s partnership.


Origin is actively in the market as we look to deploy the remainder of Origin Ventures III, so please send along interesting technology businesses that are seeking capital and are ready to begin scaling.

Copyright © 2014 Jason Heltzer