Facebook's First Sales Guy. Managing Director at Slow Ventures. Investor.
Called “one of the best hires I ever made” by Facebook founding president Sean Parker, Kevin Colleran — Facebook’s pioneering sales executive and among its first ten employees — was an integral part of the social networking behemoth’s sales force. As the company’s Global Partnership Lead, he was responsible for creatively monetizing the site without hampering user experience. He spent 6.5 years developing and running key global advertising partnerships with Coca Cola, Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Walmart and many other companies. By inserting themselves into the conversations that were already being had about their brands, these corporations found that they could engage their existing customers and capture new ones by cultivating brand loyalty and a sense of community. In 2010, he was named one of New York’s 100 Coolest Tech People by Business Insider. Colleran left Facebook in July 2011 to become an investor after having become the longest tenured employee at the company (other than Mark Zuckerberg.)
Colleran is currently Managing Partner of Slow Ventures, one of the top performing early stage venture capital firms in the USA. Through Slow Ventures, Colleran has invested in more than 170 technology companies including Pinterest, Tumblr, Plated, Barkbox, Birchbox, Postmates, Nextdoor, Nest, Slack, Product Hunt, Evernote, AngelList, Task Rabbit, Wealthfront, Mattermark and 150+ other companies. He is also a Venture Partner at General Catalyst, a top tier venture capital firm in the US.
Having cut his teeth at the largest social networking site the world has ever known, Colleran created many of today’s mainstream digital marketing and branding practices, effectively rendering “old media” practices obsolete. In his view, there are only a handful of companies that really understand how social networking and real-time digital media affect the bottom line. Those companies are the ones that will survive and thrive in the constantly evolving business landscape; the rest will fall behind and eventually fail.
He currently contributes regularly to “The Accelerators” for The Wall Street Journal’s website along with several other startup gurus, in which they address entrepreneurship and venture capital. Colleran graduated Magna Cum Laude from Babson College in 2003. In May 2015, he will return to the college as the 2015 commencement speaker and will receive an honorary Doctorate Degree.
An engaging storyteller with an infectious sense of humor, Kevin Colleran offers an enlightening presentation on sales, marketing, and branding in the digital age. He offers corporations the hard-won insights for reimagining and reenergizing their sales and marketing strategy and, ultimately, improving their bottom line. He is also one of the top thought leaders in the technology startup space due to his hundreds of technology investments and regularly shares with audiences top trends, insights, and technologies coming out of Silicon Valley.