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avatar for Carl Grant

Carl Grant

Cooley
EVP, Global Business Development
Austin, TX


I am a frustrated entrepreneur who no longer has the risk profile to quit my job and do a startup.

In the mid-90s, I took a break from the startup world to manage the Fairfax County EDA's Capital Attraction Program. There, I learned that venture capitalists (VCs) prefer deals referred by CEOs, limited partners, accountants, lawyers and investment bankers. I became part of that proprietary deal flow network and built a professional network that would propel my career for 20+ years.

PwC recruited me as their first external business development professional where I figured out how to make audits sound sexy. By positioning PwC as the gatekeeper to VCs for aspiring entrepreneurs, I turned PwC into a magnet for startups.

During the early 2000s, I served on the management teams of two VC-backed startups and the board of one. At EYECAST, the first company to put video on the internet, we raised an NEA-led $36M Series A. At CyberCFO we were positioned to be an early fintech leader. Ultimately, the burst of the tech bubble and 9-11 killed both companies.

From those two failed startups, the High Tech Prayer Breakfast was born. It is an all-volunteer workplace ministry I have chaired for 18 years that has enabled me to integrate my faith and work in a way that is very helpful to others. Our annual event draws over 800 people.

While at Cooley, I have helped found a bank, a VC fund, and a church; earned private pilots and boating licenses; serve on the advisory boards of an angel group and some technology companies currently including GivePay Commerce, airAccountant, Leasecake, Kork, Fledge, TxtMeQuick and HelloFriend. I am also Chairman of the Frederick Innovative Technology Center, where I lead their investment committee and oversee two accelerators.

As a trusted advisor to startup CEOs, I am sought out because my vast contacts and professional networking skills. I help them find funding, management team hires, board members, potential acquirers and provide strategic guidance.