Hans Swildens

CEO and Founder

Key Facts

  • Founded the firm in his Russian Hill condo in late 1999
  • Started two internet infrastructure companies with his brother prior to Industry Ventures
  • Family actively skis together and enjoys surfing
  • Born and raised in Minnesota and therefore grew up hunting and fishing


Hans is the CEO and Founder of Industry Ventures and manages the overall business. As an early pioneer of the modern secondary market for venture capital, Hans created new ways to get liquidity for venture capital investments prior to an IPO or M&A event. Additionally, he was early to support the development of a new class of venture capital partnerships focused on seed and early stage investing during the last decade. He directs the firm’s investment processes, operations and limited partner relationships.

Earlier in his career, Hans was a successful entrepreneur who co-founded and acted as President of Microline Software. Microline was acquired by Blaze Software (IPO) and was subsequently acquired by Fair Isaac. He also helped start Speedera Networks (acquired by Akamai) and provided board advisory services to Discovery Mining (acquired by Interwoven), nCircle Network Security (acquired by Tripwire), and StepUp Commerce (acquired by Intuit).

Hans holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA with distinction from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He and his wife actively support the UCSB Technology Management Program and are members of the Lancaster Society. They also support the Eugene Lang Center for Entrepreneurship at Columbia University and the Headlands Center for the Arts in Marin, CA