Zach Waterfield

Zach Waterfield

About me

I grew up in a town called Barrie in Ontario, Canada 🇨🇦. I went to the University of Waterloo for Computer engineering. I did 8 co-ops (or internships) at a variety of companies.

I've lived in a bunch of places like Lima, Porto, San Francisco, Ann Arbor, Toronto, and Vancouver. I love travelling and spending long periods of time in new places.

My favourite things to do:

  • Drink (and make) good coffee
  • Talk to passionate people
  • Ski
  • Mountain Bike
  • Travel to new places for long periods of time (1 month+)

What I'm doing these days:

  • On Deck - Currently, I am leading fundraising products at On Deck. On Deck is where the world's top talent comes to connect. Whatever it is you want to do next, our ever-growing community and action-oriented programming will help you get there—fast. If you want to learn something new to uplevel your career, launch and scale your big ideas, or make lifelong friends, this is the place for you.
  • Village Global - I work with Village Global to deploy capital to amazing early-stage companies. Village Global is the early-stage venture capital fund backed by successful entrepreneurs including Bill Gates, Sara Blakely, Barry Diller, Reid Hoffman, Magic Johnson, and Anne Wojcicki.
  • All Access Fund - I work closely with Shaan Puri and his team at the All Access Fund to invest in early-stage companies. AA is a rolling fund deploying >$4m per year and writing ~40 checks per year.
  • Startup Advising - I currently advise 3 early-stage startups.
  • Substack Newsletter - I’ve launched this Substack to write about ideas I have, frameworks I use and other things that I come across in my personal and professional life. I write about my experiences as I navigate fast-growth companies, invest in early-stage startups, and work with amazing founders.
  • Startup Poker - Startup Poker is a game to meet and connect with others in the startup realm. We are a group of founders, investors, startup employees, and creators from a variety of industries.

Things I've done in the past:

  • Kopa - In 2016 I co-founded Kopa, originally called PadPiper, with Jack and Courtney. We founded it on the belief that there is a better way to rent. Housing is such an important piece of our lives, yet it is one of the most stressful to acquire. We built Kopa to be the most streamlined process for renting a home, from searching to paying and moving in. Kopa went through YCombinator in Winter 2019 and has since expanded to over 300 cities in the United States and helped thousands of people find homes. In August 2020 I stepped back from Kopa to work on other things.
  • Toad (acquired) - I built a micro-saas business that was a simple and powerful link shortener. This got acquired but by a venture studio in August 2021.
  • + worked at many others places like Farmlogs, Carrot, Universe, etc.

Find me on the internet:

How can I help

Fundraising Strategy / Pitch Help / Deck Review - I've helped >100 companies with YC prep and reviewed countless decks for founders raising their pre-seed and seed rounds. If you need help building a strategy around your raise, improving your narrative, or just getting a deck review, let me know!

Engineering - I built up Kopa from scratch, and it was 2+ years before we hired another engineer. So, when I say I've touched the whole stack, I mean it. Whether it's payment infrastructure, setting up CI, thinking through build/buy complexities or just choosing a tech stack, I can probably shed some light on it.

Product Strategy - I've built B2B, B2C and B2B2C products. I'm happy to dive into strategy and think through early product decisions with you.

Early Startup Operations - I've spent a lot of time both building my startup and helping other founders. There is a lot to manage. I'm happy to help think through those early operations like organizing your team, interviewing early hires, choosing the right services for payroll, bookkeeping, etc.

Investments

I started investing in 2020 - since then I've invested in >20 companies, these are a mix of personal checks directly to the company, investments via syndicates, and scout checks.

Note: I don't display syndicate investments where I don't have a direct relationship with the founding team.

Select Investments