BuildZoom has a simple purpose: to help you find the perfect contractor for any job – commercial or residential.

Meet Our Team

BuildZoom is composed of people who love tackling a huge real world problem through data, technology and passion.

BuildZoom Leadership

  1. Prior to starting BuildZoom, Dave cofounded several start-ups including Import Genius, Flexport, and Wasauna. He started his career as a software engineer at Intel. David is an active angel investor and along with his brother, has invested in 60 companies. He loves growth hacking, biohacking, healthy living, nootropics, working out, meditation, and BuildZoom. He's particularly excited about BuildZoom's potential to one day help the world build more efficient, environmentally friendly, and affordable housing.
    David Petersen
  2. Before co-founding BuildZoom, Jiyan designed and developed a variety of technology products, most recently for Vocus. He earned his BA from Georgetown University and MS from the London School of Economics.
    Jiyan Wei
  3. Before joining BuildZoom, Alex built financial analytics systems at StarMine and Thomson Reuters. He gets a kick out of architecting for performance and loves getting dirty with data.
    Alex Litvak
  4. A San Francisco native, Jack is an urbanist who loves people, mobility and geography. He believes in data driven solutions that are made elegant through visualization. In his spare time you can find Jack surfing, skiing, rock climbing, or at a concert.
    Jack Cookson
  5. An east coast native, Stephen recently graduated from a master's program at Stanford before joining BuildZoom. Prior to that, he studied mathematics and economics at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and spent a few years at The Brattle Group.
    Stephen Kline
  6. Prior to BuildZoom, Hal led sales and partner teams at various companies including IBM, Symantec and various startups. He is originally from the Boston area and attended Dartmouth College. Moving to Burlingame in 2012, Hal and his wife, Patti, enjoy all that the Bay Area has to offer including tennis, golf, hiking and biking. Hal also plays saxophone and continues to be a diehard Boston sports fan.
    Hal Bennett
    Business Development
  7. Dan began his career at Yelp as a sales rep, and worked his way up the ranks to lead a team of 130 sales reps and managers to exceed their goals. In his free time, Dan loves to spend time with his wife and daughter, learn about cognitive psychology and neuroscience, and play basketball.
    Dan Irwin


Joe Lonsdale
Joe Lonsdale is a founding partner at 8VC, a San Francisco-based venture capital fund. He serves on several boards including Addepar, OpenGov, Oscar, Illumio, Radius, Hyperloop-One and Wish. Joe is a co-founder of Palantir, a multi-billion dollar global software company best known for its work in defense and finance. Most recently, he was a founding partner at Formation 8, the precursor fund to 8VC, which manages over 1.5 billion USD and is one of the top performing private funds. Before that, he founded Addepar, a leading wealth management technology platform, and OpenGov. Previously, Joe was an early executive at Peter Thiel’s Clarium Capital, which they grew into a large global macro hedge fund. He also worked with the financial arm of PayPal while he was at Stanford. Joe received a B.S. in Computer Science from Stanford in 2003. He often lectures and writes on entrepreneurship and technology.
Darren Bechtel
Darren Bechtel is the CEO of Encapsule Medical. As the Founder and Managing Director of Deebek Ventures, Darren helps encourage and support innovation by identifying and backing first-time entrepreneurs from the Stanford community. The mission of Deebek Ventures is to enable first-time entrepreneurs to drive radical innovation and to develop the next generation of strategic venture investors. Darren earned a B.S. in Product Design from Stanford University in 2004 and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 2010.
Drew Oetting
Prior to Formation 8, Drew worked in technology investment banking at Moelis & Company in Palo Alto, California where he focused on M&A advisory in the Internet/Digital Media and Network Infrastructure industries. Drew received a B.A. in Economics and Mathematics cum laude from Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California. He was a Robert Day Scholar, two-time Bill Gates Investment/Michael Larson Asset Management Fellow and served as a student representative on the Claremont McKenna College Board of Trustees.
Albert Saiz
Advisor, Real Estate and Urban Economics
Albert Saiz is an Associate Professor of Urban Economics and Real Estate at MIT, and the Director of MIT’s Center for Real Estate. He studies housing supply issues such as drivers of renovation investment, determinants of construction costs, local measurement of zoning constringency, and the relationship between natural land constraints and home values. He also studies housing demand issues such as the impact of demographics on housing markets and determinants of urban growth and revitalization.


8VC seeks to enable industry transformation. In a wave of creative destruction, we believe emerging platforms will replace the decades old technology infrastructure behind many industries, promoting greater innovation and global prosperity.
Founders Fund
Founders Fund invests in science and technology companies solving the world’s most difficult problems. The firm and its partners have been early backers of some of the most prominent companies of the past decade, including SpaceX, Palantir, Facebook and Airbnb. Founders Fund pursues a founder-friendly investment strategy that provides maximum support with minimum interference. More information can be found at
Y Combinator
Based out of Mountain View, CA, Y Combinator is the world's leading seed fund.
Brick & Mortar Ventures
Founded by Brendan Wallace and Darren Bechtel, Brick & Mortar Ventures (B&M) identifies, backs, and enables emerging companies developing innovative software and hardware solutions for the industries of real estate, hospitality, and construction.
Hydrazine Capital
Hydrazine Capital is a venture fund started by Jack and Sam Altman.
Cota Capital
Cota Capital partners with world-class entrepreneurs and leadership teams to build disruptive businesses. Cota Capital believes that entrepreneurs and companies are leveraging software in innovative ways to disrupt all industries around the globe. Our direct entrepreneurial and operational experience allows us to unlock value across all stages of a company's life cycle, from seed through public.
Streamlined Ventures
Streamlined Ventures is a seed stage investment firm focused on extreme scale businesses.
DG Incubation
DG Incubation is the investment subsidiary of Digital Garage Group.
Pankaj Shah
Pankaj Shah is an investor and advisor to dozens of venture capital firms (including Formation 8 and Unshackled) and startups. He is an early backer of Addepar, ALOHA, AltVR, OpenGov, VentureBeat, and many other companies.
Michael Liou
Michael Liou is a managing director and founder of Anvil Capital Advisors, a registered investment advisor with a high income, low volatility, and steady growth approach to investing.
Brendan Wallace
Brendan started his career at Goldman Sachs & Co. in investment banking and co-founded Identified which raised $35 million in venture capital was acquired by Workday. Brendan is also an active investor in startups and founded both Otter Rock Capital and Brick & Mortar Ventures which has led $19M of investments in over 60 companies. Brendan also advises The Blackstone Group on its investments in startup technology companies.