We're Social Leverage
Our team is made up of serial entrepreneurs who have previously founded several successful consumer and enterprise companies. We know what it's like to be a founder, and partner early to help entrepreneurs turn their visions into successful ventures.
Howard Lindzon — Founder, General Partner
Howard has more than 20 years experience in the financial community acting in both an entrepreneurial and investing capacity. With a unique vision for starting, managing, and successfully advising innovative companies, Lindzon is the public face of the Social Leverage entities.
Lindzon co-founded StockTwits, named “one of the top 10 most innovative companies in web” by Fast Company and one of the “50 best websites” by Time (where he invented the “cashtag”). Previously, he created more than 400 original videos on Wallstrip, acquired by $CBS.
Lindzon stepped down from his operational role as CEO of StockTwits on December 31, 2013, to focus on the next phase of Social Leverage. As acting Chairman, Lindzon’s connection to StockTwits (along with his hedge fund experience) gives Social Leverage access to a community of professionals who can evaluate fintech opportunities.
Howard blogs at howardlindzon.com.
Tom Peterson — Founder, General Partner
Tom is a General Partner and Co-Founder of Social Leverage. Tom and Howard were recognized by Institutional Investor as one of the “super angels,” where they were depicted as helping to reorganize early-stage investing with disciplined capital, uniform investing rules, and a sense of community that traditional venture capital took notice of.
As an angel investor and fund manager for over a decade, Peterson has closed 100+ investments. He manages the day-to-day business of Social Leverage and assists portfolio companies in need with operational and corporate development expertise. He has a strong fiduciary presence with experience as President & COO of NASDAQ ($NTRL) prior to leading the privatization of the company.
Gary Benitt — General Partner
Gary is a seasoned serial entrepreneur, having been a part of four founding teams in both consumer and B2B companies over the past 18 years. Most recently, he spent 3 years as COO of Desk.com after his company, Assistly, was acquired in 2011 by Salesforce.com.
Previously, Gary was with AOL after his company, Goowy Media, was acquired in early 2008. Gary has managed various technology and go-to-market teams including business operations, customer service, client implementation and success, engineering, and quality assurance. He brings broad knowledge across all facets of growing a business from startup into a mature organization.
Gary has been an active investor in early stage companies since 2011, with over 20 investments including Getaround, Hello Inc, Stitch Labs, and ZenPayroll.
Joe Mahavuthivanij — ASSOCIATE
Joe is a product generalist and the newest addition to the Social Leverage team, joining in 2015. He is a startup-hardened product and design leader and has worked on web and mobile software across a diverse set of industries including real estate, education, social networks, pets, legal, and death care.
Prior to Social Leverage, he was the founder of the Padworthy and the Yapsie pet community. Joe holds a BA in Psychology from UCSD.