Chief Executive Officer
Steven founded TakeLessons in 2006 with a simple mission to make a positive, lasting impact on millions of people. He felt the best way to accomplish that mission was to use technology to help teachers make a living doing what they love.
Steven's passion for music developed early. He grew up singing and playing bass guitar in the family gospel band with his parents and three brothers. Steven went on to play in several bands and DJ in clubs during college before ultimately releasing two alternative rock albums on Convertible Fly Records with his bandmate Enrique Platas.
Although rooted in music, TakeLessons has expanded to serve many verticals, including academic tutoring and performing arts. Throughout the growth, the mission has remained unchanged.
Prior to founding TakeLessons, Steven was Managing Partner of Reddito LLC, an e-commerce and Internet marketplace consulting firm with clients including Cisco, Club Med, Wells Fargo, and Intel.
Steven also served as Vice President of Business Development for CollegeClub.com, an early social network, and was a founding employee of PurchasePro, a B2B marketplace that grew to an IPO in 1999.
Steven graduated with honors from Eastern Kentucky University with degrees in Investment Finance and Human Communications. He writes regularly about business, motivation, and life lessons on his blog: https://stevencox.com/
General Partner, Crosslink Capital
Eric joined Crosslink in 2010 to focus on Digital Media & Internet Services and Software & Business Services. Eric brings over 19 years of experience as a successful entrepreneur and venture investor. He has focused exclusively on early stage technology companies.
Prior to Crosslink, Eric was a General Partner at Bay Partners focusing on Internet & Digital Media Software investments. Eric's startup experience includes co-founding the Internet server software company WebSpective (INKT), and co-founding TelASIC Communications (MTI). In addition, his operating experience includes business development at Mainspring and at MILCOM (Military Commercial Technologies) where he focused on finding and commercializing next generation technologies out of the military, aerospace and Defense Labs.
Eric began his venture capital career in 1993 at Highland Capital Partners. Eric is co-founder and president of Alpha, the entrepreneurial networking club for more than 400 Founders and CEOs.
Eric holds a BA from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Managing Director, Shepherd Ventures
Tom has over 25 years of experience as a venture capitalist, entrepreneur, and management consultant. He focuses on investments in software, mobile/wireless, and the internet/digital media. With Shepherd Ventures, Tom has served on the boards of and/or managed investments in portfolio companies including SpecificMedia, Quickoffice, LTI Lighting, Planet ATE, Voyager Systems, and WiSpry.
Earlier in his career, Tom was Senior Vice President of Advantage Capital Partners, a large early stage venture fund. While with Advantage Capital, the US Small Business Administration selected him as a Financial Services Advocate of the Year.
Prior to Advantage Capital, Tom founded and/or served as President and Chief Executive Officer of various companies, primarily in the software and publishing industries. Tom was also a Management Consultant with KPMG Peat Marwick, where he served as a member of the firm's M&A Group.
Tom received a BA in Economics and an MBA from the University of Illinois. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and also holds the designation of Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). Tom is a member of the CFA Institute, a past Chairman and President of the CFA Society of San Diego, an advisor for numerous privately-held companies and serves on the board of the San Diego Software Industries Council (SDSIC).