Brooke Seawell

Venture Partner

Brooke joined NEA in 2005 as a Venture Partner, focusing on software, systems, and internet investments. He brings 40-plus years’ experience in technology finance and operations. Brooke serves on the board of directors and as audit committee chair of NVIDIA, Tenable, and GoodLeap. Before joining NEA, Brooke was a Partner with Technology Crossover Ventures. Prior to his pivot to venture, he had a 25-year career as an operating executive. As a founder, officer, investor, or director, Brooke has been directly involved in 12 IPOs and 13 strategic acquisitions.

You spent 25 years in operational roles, building companies. How do you leverage that expertise in your current role?

Over the course of my career I’ve been a founder and/or an operating executive at four technology companies. I took three companies public and sold the fourth to Sun Microsystems. It’s been rewarding to take the knowledge I have from those experiences and use it to help coach and guide the operators at our portfolio companies. I have a lot of empathy for founders and operators because I know what it’s like to be in their shoes and the difficulty of the decisions they have to make on a daily basis.

What’s one word you want founders to use when describing their partnership with you?

Constructive. Founders and teams know their own companies the best. My role is to listen and offer counsel whenever I can add value.

What qualities do you look for in a founder?

I think one of the most common attributes I see in successful founders is resilience. It is easy to continue to make progress when things are going well, but it’s much harder to generate momentum when things aren’t. Downturns and hurdles are inevitable when you’re building a company. You have to be resilient from the start so those challenges don’t end up thwarting your goals.

How is NEA different from other VCs?

NEA has a low-ego, team-oriented culture. This directly benefits our founders because they have full access to all of the resources and expertise our collective team has to offer. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, and we rely on each other.

What nonprofit organizations are you involved with? Why are they important to you?

I’m passionate about making STEM education more accessible to more kids. I’m on the board of trustees of my high school in Bethesda, Maryland. My wife and I helped them to build a new STEM center.

What’s something you enjoy doing outside of your work?

I’m an avid cycler. I’ve taken 24 cycling vacations around the world. It’s an in-depth way to experience a place or region.

Public company Audit Chair
Century rides—plus one double century and four Death Rides