Noah Berger/The New York Times
Founding partner, XG Ventures
Formerly regional sales manager at Google
Investments (a sampling): Chai Labs, Global Fresh Foods, Pathwork Diagnostics, TwitVid
It’s easy to be confused by references to Andrea Zurek’s track record. Several of her 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 says. "It’s so hard, having that balance and still making time to spend with your family. I’m still trying to figure it out."
The former regional sales manager for Google started investing through Sand Hill Angels while still at the search giant. Today, Zurek’s portfolio is among the most diverse of all the Google angels'. Her 27 investments include Lotus Vodka, Facebook, frozen yogurt emporium Red Mango, and Vaxart, which develops oral vaccines. 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."