Tory Patterson, Managing Director and Co-founder
Tory Patterson is the Managing Partner of Owl Ventures. Tory is actively involved and serves on the board of directors of Accelerate Learning, DreamBox Learning, LearnZillion and Newsela.
Prior to founding Owl Ventures, Tory was a Partner at Catamount Ventures, a San Francisco based venture capital fund focused on mission-driven companies. While at Catamount, Tory advised several start-ups from the idea stage through launch, financing and commercialization. Tory was a key member of the team that incubated, supported and built Plum Organics, from early vision to becoming the world’s largest organic baby and kids’ food company, to eventual successful exit to Campbell’s. Tory founded and ran Catamount’s education investment practice where he led investments in leading education companies MasteryConnect, PresenceLearning, EdSurge, TenMarks (acquired by Amazon) Upworthy and Declara.
Tory earned a BA from Williams College and an MBA from Stanford's Graduate School of Business.
Jed Smith, Managing Director And Co-founder
Jed is a Partner at Owl Ventures. He is also the Founder of Catamount Ventures where he has served as Managing Partner since its inception in 2000. Catamount Ventures has raised four funds totaling over $200M and invested in 35 entrepreneurial enterprises. Jed has dedicated his business career to the art of entrepreneurship and to making a difference. Jed currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of two firms - Linden Labs and Revolution Foods. In addition he serves on the Boards of directors of Banyan Water and Numi Tea and has also previously served as founding Director and Chariman of Plum Organics and on the board of directors of Seventh Generation. Prior to launching Catamount, Jed wrote the business plan and founded drugstore.com in 1997 that ultimately sold to Walgreens for ~$450M, serving on its board of directors with John Doerr, Brook Byers, Peter Neupert, Howard Schultz and Jeff Bezos. Before that, he co-founded and spent four years at Cybersmith, a retail store chain that showcased the latest advances in information technology and multimedia software. Jed was also Vice President of Sales at Tribe Computer Works, a networking hardware and software company that was successfully sold.
Jed began his career in technology working in the dynamic early years at Oracle corporation in the Direct Marketing Division with bosses and peers ranging from Tom Siebel to Marc Benioff, Dave Dewalt to Mike Decesare. at Oracle Corporation. World-class mentors have been critical to his Jed’s career.
Jed also has keen interests in the worlds of sustainability, education, providing access to those in need and stopping the cycle of mass discrimination and incarceration. He has also served on the boards of several education and non-profit institutions, including the Monterey Institute for International Studies, Shackleton Schools, the Cambridge Center for Adult Education and 10 years on the Board of Trustees of Middlebury College in Vermont. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife Caitlin and their three kids Quinn, Annabel and Lilah.
Jed earned a BA from Middlebury College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Kate Chhabra, Partner and CFO
Kate has over fifteen years of operating experience and is responsible for overseeing the operational and administrative functions at Owl Ventures. Kate began her career at ATEL Capital, a large San Francisco based leasing company, working in operations and human resources. She returned to human resources at CriticalArc Technologies, Inc. during its early seed stage. Later, she assumed all administration functions within the company as head of administration, overseeing both the accounting and office management departments as well. After CriticalArc, Kate acted as Director of Operations for a small business establishing and maintaining their operational procedures and basic administration. She then joined Catamount Ventures in 2003. Kate received a B.A. degree from The George Washington University.
Amit Patel, Partner
Amit Patel is a Partner at Owl Ventures. He has experience scaling several education startups and is deeply committed to building new organizations that will create sustainable and higher quality education solutions. Amit has worked closely with several education companies, including PresenceLearning, Revolution Foods, TenMarks (acquired by Amazon), Raise.me, MasteryConnect, LearnZillion, Accelerate Learning, DreamBox Learning and EdSurge. Amit serves on the board of directors of Lingo Live, Securly and is a board observer for Panorama Education.
Before joining Owl, he founded Personal Academic Trainers, an after-school tutoring company, and created the quality assurance program and institutionalized sales training for Mathnasium Learning Centers, an after-school math learning center franchise with over 450 locations on four continents. Amit also served as the Director of Technology for Success Academy Charter Schools, a premiere charter school network in New York City with over 30 schools.
Amit was an Education Pioneers Graduate School Fellow, and he earned a MBA/MA in Education from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and Graduate School of Education. He also received a BA in Mathematical Economic Analysis from Rice University and studied theatre/film at The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts and New York University.
Tom Costin, Partner
Tom is a Partner at Owl Ventures. Tom has held numerous investment, managerial and advisory roles. Before joining Owl, he was a Private Investments Specialist at Cambridge Associates where he advised, or invested on behalf of, families, nonprofits, endowments and pension funds with assets ranging from $700 million to over $150 billion on their venture capital, private equity and hard assets investments. Tom has also served as a Managing Director at SoleTech, a leading supplier of materials and products for the footwear and orthopedic industries. As an MBA intern, Tom worked with the founding team at Castlight Health (NYSE: CSLT) where he helped create the company’s business plan and constructed revenue models. Prior to business school, Tom served as an Associate at FLAG Capital and as a Senior Associate at Cambridge Associates. Tom serves on the Advisory Board of Match Education.
Tom received an M.B.A. from Stanford University and a B.A. from Bowdoin College.
Ashley Bittner, Principal
Ashley is a Principal at Owl Ventures. Ashley has played a leading role across a variety of education organizations, ranging from schools, to a school district, to startups, to the Federal government. Before joining Owl, Ashley served as a White House appointee to the U.S. Department of Education where she worked in the Office of Innovation and Improvement to support the development and scaling of innovative approaches to improving student outcomes across the country. Specifically, Ashley led the Department’s efforts to expand access to early college experiences for over 20,000 low-income students per year. Ashley has also worked as a Consultant for the Boston Consulting Group, where she advised retail companies, philanthropic institutions and conducted due diligence for private equity funds. Ashley began her career as a 7th and 8th grade Social Studies teacher in the Bronx through Teach for America.
Ashley earned a MBA from the Wharton School and a MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School. She holds a BA in Political Science and History, with minors in economics and Latin American Studies, from the University of Florida Honors Program. Ashley is a Truman Scholar for the state of Florida (2006).
Rebecca Chatfield-Taylor, Executive Assistant
& Office Manager
Rebecca is an Executive Assistant and Office Manager at Owl Ventures. She is responsible for keeping everyone on track and organized, as well as all event planning and office operations. And she does it with a smile!
Rebecca began her career in advertising, specializing in branding, strategy and account services. She then segued into various positions in the fitness industry: Bar Method instructor, Pilates instructor, and Assistant to the Founder of The Bar Method. Several years of assisting entrepreneurs in various industries has provided Rebecca with the knowledge, perspective and experience to be a meaningful member of the Owl team.
Rebecca has a high level of organization, coupled with a healthy dose of perfectionism, a love of great customer service, and a desire to work with the best and brightest doing work that feels productive and will make a difference to those near and far. Owl Ventures’ focus on education particularly resonates with Rebecca since her mother was a kindergarten teacher in the Massachusetts public school system for 36 years.
Rebecca grew up on Cape Cod, in Massachusetts. She graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in English.