Lucas Nelson is a proud geek, a hacker turned VC who brings a unique mix of technical depth and business knowledge to bear. He is most excited by companies that are trying to use technology to make a dent in the universe. He is currently a Partner at Lytical Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm—launched by Lyrical Partners—focused exclusively on opportunities in corporate intelligence, including cybersecurity, Big Data, and artificial intelligence.
Previously, Lucas was a Principal at Evolution Equity Partners, a firm focused on growth-stage technology companies in the US, Europe, and Israel, specifically in the cyber-security and enterprise software sectors.
Before that, Lucas was a Principal at Gotham Ventures, working most closely with portfolio companies STELLAService and ADstruc, as well as his angel investments in Branch, DarkNet, and WayWire.
He co-authored The Art of Software Security Testing, chaired DefCon – the largest hacking convention in the US – for 10 years, and has been a member of the NY tech community since 1999. Since 2014 Lucas has also been an adjunct faculty member at NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering teaching "entrepreneurship for hackers."
Before his East Coast venture career, Lucas was a Senior Manager for Product Security at Adobe, where he worked to develop the strategy and led the execution for Adobe’s proactive security solutions as part of their secure development lifecycle. While in Silicon Valley he also worked as an Investment Associate at US Venture Partners where he focused on deal sourcing and due diligence in cloud computing and security companies. Lucas first got involved in the startup community in 1999 as a programmer and worked for three startups: i33, FlashBase and @Stake, which were all successfully acquired.
Education, Personal, and Fellowship
Lucas also holds a BS from Purdue in computer science and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.
After two years in San Francisco learning the complex etiquette of Napa Valley wine tastings, Lucas has returned to New York. He is an instructor in Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art, and also enjoys Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes. In his free time he likes travel, discovering great food, and programming small side projects.
Lucas served his fellowship at DFJ Gotham under the mentorship of Managing Director Daniel Schultz as a member of Class 16.