Next Coast taps Puil as EIR

Austin-based Next Coast Ventures has named Sarah Puil as an entrepreneur-in-residence. Previously, Puil was senior vice president at Civic Entertainment.


AUSTIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Next Coast Ventures, an Austin-based venture capital firm investing in entrepreneurs on the ‘Next Coast’ of innovation, today announced that the firm is adding Sarah Puil as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence as part of its mission to partner with the most innovative entrepreneurs creating companies in its key investment themes.

Puil comes to Next Coast Ventures with a dynamic 20-year experience as an entrepreneur, public company executive and innovator. During Puil’s residency, she will focus on incubating ideas and solutions centered around the changing nature of digital assets and their consumption – a core investment theme for NCV – and how these shifts in the marketplace can be leveraged to generate massive value for personal and professional development.

“It has always been important to our firm’s culture to have a strong entrepreneur in our office to bring their unique perspective on emerging market trends and discover their next project,” said Michael Smerklo, co-founder and managing director of Next Coast Ventures. “Sarah shares our beliefs around the increasing influence of ubiquitous connectivity and digital-first consumers and her significant operational expertise in our core investment themes will be an incredible addition to our firm’s investment approach.”

Prior to Next Coast Ventures, Puil was senior vice president at Civic Entertainment, a Seacrest Global Company, working with the nation’s top brands to develop growth strategies through experiential marketing. Prior to Civic, Puil served as senior vice president of product development at Strayer Education where she conceived and built Strayer’s first product innovation lab, designing workforce development products to drive frontline employee retention and new customer lead generation. Puil also developed and launched ‘Education Nation,’ a five-year platform with NBC News that became one of the most impactful educational media events in the country. In the last two years, Sarah has applied her entrepreneurial skills to podcasting, where she has worked with Suze Orman as a co-host and business partner on her show ‘Women & Money,’ as well as on the show ‘Self Made’ with Jessica Herrin. Puil holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from The University of San Francisco, and after 22 years in San Francisco, she is looking forward to calling Austin home with her husband Kevin and daughter Charlie.

“I couldn’t be more excited to join the team at Next Coast and have the chance to work with the firm and its portfolio on these incredibly impactful emerging trends in digital assets and consumption,” said Puil. “I have seen firsthand the benefits of iterating on a project in an entrepreneurial environment and was very drawn to the innovative atmosphere Next Coast has fostered both in their firm’s culture and its investment approach – I think it will be the perfect place to explore what these digital shifts in the marketplace mean for the future of technology in education, marketing and the workplace.”

About Next Coast Ventures
Next Coast Ventures is an Austin venture capital firm that partners with bold entrepreneurs building innovative companies in big markets. It provides early-stage capital to high-growth startups in ‘Next Coast’ markets, using macro trends and themes to guide their investment strategy. Next Coast provides its growing group of portfolio companies hands-on, company building resources through its strong industry network, Entrepreneurs Council program and the founders’ own experiences as entrepreneurs. Learn more at