We build products.

We back startups.

We’re a small group of product leaders who’ve helped build many of tech's household names — from Slack to Instacart. Now we're partnering with First Round to advise and invest in founders starting companies at the earliest stage.

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Who We Are

Building a product people love is critical to startup success. We provide counsel and capital at the exact moment a founder needs tactical advice from an expert who’s been there before.

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Nikita Dyer

Product Lead, Trello · Atlassian · NY
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Nikita Dyer

Product Lead, Trello · Atlassian · NY

Nikita leads the product team at Trello, a visual collaboration tool used by millions for both work and personal organization.

Prior to joining Trello, Nikita led acquisition and growth at Knewton, an education technology company specializing in adaptive learning. All told, she spent nearly a decade in education technology working to improve language learning and create adaptive learning products. Because she believes that products are only as great as the teams that build them, she's focused her career on fixing, nurturing, and growing tech teams in Shanghai, London, and New York.

Nikita joined the Product Co-op to help early-stage founders build successful product teams. She’s also interested in broadening the network of founders who have access to early-stage funding.

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Zander Pease

Co-Founder · Nomad Health · NY
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Zander Pease

Co-Founder · Nomad Health · NY

Zander is Co-founder of Nomad Health, the online marketplace for the temporary healthcare staffing industry. Nomad is the first platform that allows clinicians and healthcare facilities to find and contract with one another directly.

Previously, Zander served on the investment team at Union Square Ventures, where he focused on healthcare and blockchain investments. He launched his career in the New York tech scene as a software developer and still loves to code.

Zander joined the Product Co-op to help early-stage founders iterate to product-market fit. It's a challenge he recently faced (and will never be done tackling). He believes it’s the most important thing to get right in a company's infancy, and that early-stage founders would be well-advised to lean on a network of experienced, product-focused operators who have already cleared this hurdle. He’s excited to be one of them.

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Dan Shipper

Founder and Writer · NY
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Dan Shipper

Exploring New Ideas · NY

Dan Shipper started enterprise company Firefly during college and bootstrapped it to almost $500,000 a year in ARR with a team of two.

In 2014, he sold it to Pegasystems, where he continued to run the Firefly product internally, building out the team while overseeing product management, engineering, marketing strategy, customer demos and training for Pega’s 300-person salesforce.

Dan also runs a widely-read blog on all facets of building startups, and his writing has appeared regularly on Quartz, LifeHacker, and PandoDaily. In 2017, he co-organized and co-produced the Love-a-thon, a Facebook Live telethon held on Inauguration Day to raise money for the ACLU and Planned Parenthood. It ended up raising $200,000 and was viewed by over 1.5 million people.

He’s interested in scrappy founders running unsexy businesses, and AR/VR companies.

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Olivia Teich

Product Leader · formerly Dropbox and Jive · SF
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Olivia Teich

Product Leader · formerly Dropbox and Jive · SF

Olivia loves making connections and building delightful products that help people make better choices at scale. Most recently, she led the teams working on Dropbox’s collaboration products, including Paper, Dropbox mobile, web and desktop experiences, and developer ecosystem.

Prior to Dropbox, Olivia built the Innovation and School Experience Teams at AltSchool, to enable personalization in real-world classrooms. She was also VP of Product at Jive, an early leader in communication and collaboration, from Series B through IPO. Earlier in her career, she worked on both consumer and enterprise products and platforms with a focus on UX.

Over the last several years, Olivia has enjoyed getting to know and help startup teams across domains through advising and M&A. She’s excited to continue that through the Product Co-Op, which will give her a few more ways to lend a hand and pay forward the time and expertise that's aided her along the way.

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Max Mullen

Co-Founder · Instacart · SF
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Max Mullen

Co-Founder · Instacart · SF

Max is the Co-Founder of Instacart. Since 2012, the company has fundamentally changed the grocery industry by connecting customers with personal shoppers who hand-pick and deliver fresh groceries.

He started his career at Schematic, an award-winning interactive agency that was acquired by WPP. After that, he founded a mobile app startup in 2010, and worked in product management at Location Labs, acquired by AVG. He graduated from the University of Southern California, where he studied entrepreneurship and cinematic arts.

Max has invested in and advised many startups, helping them with product strategy, growth, operations and company building. He’s excited to work with even more young companies through the Product Co-Op.

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Paul Rosania

Core Product Lead · Slack · SF
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Paul Rosania

Core Product Lead · Slack · SF

Paul leads the Core Product team at Slack, where he and his team build the interfaces millions of people use to get their work done each day.

Previously, he led the Timelines Team at Twitter, where he spearheaded the transition to an algorithmically ranked feed. Paul graduated Dartmouth College with a BA in computer science and has spent the last decade building software he hopes brings people closer together. He’s eager to meet entrepreneurs who have a strong belief about the way the world can be, and are working hard to make it a reality. He’s excited to share what he’s learned along the way.

At our companies, we navigate startups' thorniest product challenges. Here are a few areas where we can jump in and help you.

What We Know
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Starting

Max started Instacart's product and design teams from scratch, and Dan started and sold his first company while still in college. When starting Nomad Health, Zander owned research, design and branding and contributed code to ship their MVP in 6 months.

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Scaling

Paul has seen Slack grow 2.5x while running its core product, and Olivia helped Jive turn a few million in annual revenue into over $200M post-IPO.

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Hiring

Together, we’ve hired and led hundreds of people. Olivia leads a team of over 25 PMs at Dropbox, Nikita doubled Trello's PM team in six months, and, under Max’s leadership, Instacart has grown to thousands of employees.

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Testing

We can help you harness data to guide early roadmaps and find product-market fit. Nikita led acquisition and growth at Knewton. At Twitter, Paul’s team built the infrastructure and machine learning systems necessary to make huge data-driven shifts in the product.

How We Work

We make angel-sized investments together as a group and partner closely with exceptional entrepreneurs. While we have First Round's financial and operational support, we invest independently and hope to make our share of daring and different choices.

We want to meet founders bringing the first version of their product to life – even before they start raising. If this describes you, and you're looking to bring product expertise into your company, we may be a good fit.

Investments

Blameless is a reliability orchestration platform that helps teams improve incident management, learn from outages, and get better visibility on reliability.

Caper is building a smart self-checkout cart, powered by deep learning & computer vision.

Disclosures.io helps Top Listing Agents share information up front, know who’s actually interested, and see offers coming before they arrive.

Light builds beautiful, aspirational smartphones designed to be used as little as possible.

Malibu is reinventing how you share your games with friends. Inspired by living rooms and LAN parties, Malibu brings gaming crews together around interactive live video.

Marble is creating a fleet of intelligent courier robots to reliably and securely transport the goods that people need and want in a way that is accessible to everyone.

QuitGenius has created a mobile app to help the 700M smokers around the world quit smoking.

Studio lets you enjoy boutique running classes that pair the world’s best instructors with a killer playlist.

SVRF is a search engine for immersive content.

Tamber is the fastest way for startups and developers to put 10x better recommendations into their apps.

Universe allows you to build a website on your phone in under a minute.

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Interested in the latest news and product development insights from the Co-op? Sign up below and follow us on Medium.

Frequently asked questions

What unique value does the Product Co-op offer to founders?
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Our members are actively involved in product development at successful tech companies. Rather than offering introductions or a “30,000 ft view,” we aim to partner directly with teams to navigate the challenges of early product development together.

When and how much does the Product Co-op usually invest in a company?
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We invest up to $50k in startups at seed stage and earlier.

How does the Product Co-op work together?
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We’re split into two teams – one in San Francisco and one in New York. Each of these groups makes investment decisions together and supports the companies they’ve decided to back. That said, the two city teams collaborate often. If the San Francisco team invests in your company, but you have a question best answered by a member of the New York team, we’re always happy to connect you.

Do you invest outside of New York and the Bay Area?
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Yes! While the two Co-op teams are based in New York and San Francisco, we invest in startups across the country.

Where does your funding come from? Do you invest your own capital?
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The Product Co-op is powered by capital and operational support from First Round, a venture firm in San Francisco, New York and Philadelphia that invests in tech startups at the earliest stage. In addition to First Round's backing, we can choose to invest our own capital as well.

How can I get in touch with the Product Co-op?
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The best way to start a conversation with the Co-op is to reach out to one of us through your network. If we don’t have mutual connection, you can email us directly at product@co-op.vc, and we'll do our best to respond.

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