Andrea Zurek, 39
Founding partner, XG Ventures
No. of Angel Investments: 26
Companies funded (a sampling): Lotus Vodka, Facebook, Red Mango, and Vaxart
It’s easy to be confused by references to Andrea Zurek’s track record. Several of the former Google regional sales manager’s investments have seen successful exits, including Aardvark and AppJet, both bought by Google, and Plusmo, acquired by AT&T Interactive. A few, such as Dot Blu and Snaptalent, have gone south. But Zurek is also a racing aficionado, speeding an open-wheel, formula style car in February’s Skip Barber West Coast Series and placing 5th in a field of 12. "I have that work-hard, play-hard mentality," Zurek said in a telephone interview. "It’s so hard, having that balance and still making time to spend with your family. I’m still trying to figure it out."
She now invests through XG Ventures, co-founded with former Googlers Pietro Dova, Greg Lee, and David Lee. Search advertising and marketing are still a strong focus for the four partners, but "just like Google, we’re moving into mobile and social media. We’re taking it seriously and making bets on it." Zurek’s portfolio is among the most diverse of all the Google angels.