Val Jerdes



Val Jerdes is Partner at Innov8 Global Ventures | Advisory | Labs, working out of their offices in Palo Alto, California and Moscow, Russia. Val specializes in growing startups and designing the ecosystems that nurture their success. Val is also Advisory Partner at GrowthUp (Ukraine), Impact Ventures (Palo Alto), Vertical Ventures (Finland), the Kauffman Fellows Venture Capital Academy Executive program, a lecturer at Moscow State University – and is a sought-after speaker in entrepreneurship and innovation. He has structured, co-founded or consulted for a number of venture capital funds, including Foresight Ventures, Foresight Plus Ventures, Reactor Ventures, Pulsar Ventures, and Sarov Technopark. He has advised on the formation of numerous incubators and accelerators, and worked with regional and national governments in Russia, Belarus, Republic of Georgia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and other former CIS countries. Innov8 Global Ventures has invested in over 100 startups primarily at Seed and Series A stages, with returns tracking at over 4x. 

Over the last 20 years, Val and the Innov8 team have consulted on Corporate Venturing for major corporations, including Fortune 500 clients. Innov8 usually takes an Advisory role to in-house venturing teams, but also provides or training courses and full outsource. 

In his native Silicon Valley, California, Val is also a successful entrepreneur who co-founded and led two start-ups to successful exits. He has subsequently helped hundreds of founders refine their own startups to win first customers and raise investment – usually by helping mold technology into products that address significant problems in the market, then growth hacking (working with content, analytics, and marketing). Val’s area of software expertise has been semantic networks and big data (AI, pattern recognition, filtering, and extraction-aggregation systems) and privacy – but his portfolio is broad ranging and include SAAS, enterprise software, medical devices, fashion tech, flying cars (VTOLs), consumer apps, FMCG products, and more.

One of Val’s recent projects has been “The Yellow Door,” a boutique incubator-creative space in the center of Moscow, Russia ( Yellow Door was one of the first co-working spaces in the market and the first incubator/accelerator program. We helped thousands of talented local entrepreneurs, many of whom launched startups into global markets. We also brewed delicious coffee, held tons of courses, live acoustic concerts, film festivals, art exhibits, and of course entrepreneurship events. We opened Moscow chapters for Startup Grind, Founders Institute, VLAB, Startup Crash Test, Startup World Cup, and others – as well as our own original programming to inspire, educate, connect and support innovation. We are local partners to Techstars and other venture funds and accelerators.

Previous to entrepreneurship and venture capital, Val worked at Apple Computer as channel marketing manager for an early handwriting recognition technology (the Newton PDA, precursor to the iPhone). He subsequently worked in the Advanced Technology Group of Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space and in private equity in Russia. He serves on the board of VLAB (MIT-Stanford Enterprise Forum) and numerous startups. He also works closely with Y Combinator, Alchemist, 500 Startups, StartX (Stanford), SkyDeck (Berkeley), Sandhill Angels, The Churchill Club, Stanford-Harvard Association of Investors and Entrepreneurs, and numerous other organizations. Val also taught English part-time at a local public high school for 10 years.

Val holds a Bachelors Degree from Pomona College, Masters Degree from Stanford University and has conducted PhD research at the University of Cambridge.